WASHINGTON, D.C. June 30, 2006—The
International Finance Corporation and the National Bank of Pakistan have
signed a memorandum of understanding to develop an initiative to finance
higher education in Pakistan. IFC will work with the National Bank of Pakistan
to jointly develop new loan products for students seeking higher education.
IFC will arrange the hiring and funding of an international consultant
who will conduct a market study on higher education in Pakistan and analyze
the demand for student loans. The consultant, who will be funded by the
Netherlands Technical Assistance Trust Fund, will research the current
status and market risk for student financing as well as the unsecured and
secured lending for personal financing.
Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, noted,
“A successful student loan program will facilitate access to higher education
and help IFC fulfill its developmental mission. We hope this initial work
will result in a long-term partnership with the National Bank of Pakistan
to develop an attractive and viable student loan program,” he said.
Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, added, “Student loans
will not only provide access to higher education and more job opportunities
to a broader range of people but may also encourage similar initiatives
in other countries of the region.”
IFC's Health and Education department provides project financing for
capital expenditures on hospitals, health clinics, schools, universities,
colleges, and curriculum and ICT assisted education services. IFC supports
institutions that introduce innovations, demonstrate best practices, or
are directly aligned with public sector objectives. Technical assistance
remains a critical component of IFC’s work. Through its experience in
private health and education, IFC has also established itself as a center
for networking and information dissemination among private institutions
and investors worldwide. Since 2001, the department has committed 43 projects
in 22 countries. The size of its committed portfolio as of June 30, 2006
was $313 million.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in emerging markets,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in developing countries, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49
billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.