Almaty, Kazakhstan, August 6, 2009—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping four microfinance institutions
in Azerbaijan and Central Asia expand the range of services offered to
micro and small enterprises and entrepreneurs and to boost access to finance
in underserved communities.
IFC also is assisting the institutions
to transform into banks or deposit-taking organizations to become more
IMON International and Arvand in Tajikistan,
Bai Tushum in the Kyrgyz Republic, and Credagro in Azerbaijan will benefit
from IFC’s Azerbaijan and Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Support
Project to implement microfinance best practices and transformation plans.
IFC’s support includes an advisory services package in institution-building,
developing a corporate strategy, and mentoring of senior management.
The microfinance institutions experienced
explosive growth over the past few years and need to complement intensive
growth with improved financial management, risk management, internal audit
and control, and investor relations.
“This initiative is a part of IFC’s
global strategy to support commercial viability of microlending organizations,”
said Rolf Behrndt, IFC Senior Operations Officer for Investment Climate
Advisory Services in Europe and Central Asia. “The well-managed growth
of these microfinance institutions will allow them to expand greatly the
access to finance for underserved communities, especially in rural areas,
and thus raise standards of living and improve lives.”
Since 2008, IFC has worked to support
the transformation process of microfinance institutions across Azerbaijan
and Central Asia, helping them improve operations, provide a full range
of financial services, and become more sustainable.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.