Kosovo, Pristina, June 13, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €1 million loan to Agency
for Finance in Kosovo (AFK), the country’s fourth-largest microfinance
institution, to boost access to finance for micro and small businesses,
and small farmers and agri-businesses in rural and semi-urban areas, in
Medium to long-term funding is critical for developing Kosovo’s private
sector and creating jobs, but remains scarce across much of the country.
AFK is one of the few microfinance institutions not headquartered in the
capital Pristina but in Peja, and serves more than 14,000 customers through
a nationwide 20-branch network. Around 40 percent of AFK’s clients are
farmers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, who often face challenges
when trying to secure funds from commercial banks.
“IFC will help us to improve and increase our lending to entrepreneurs
and farmers in Kosovo,” said Vahdet Anadolli, CEO of AFK. “IFC’s loan
is also an important recognition for the work AFK has been doing over the
past several years.”
The investment comprises a €0.7 million loan for IFC’s own account and
a €0.3 million loan from IFC, as the implementing entity for the Private
Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).
“By extending this loan to AFK, we are reaffirming our confidence in Kosovo’s
microfinance sector,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central
and Southeast Europe. “AFK is the third microfinance institution in Kosovo
we are supporting, as this sector is essential for channeling funds to
urban and rural entrepreneurs, who are generating growth and employment
opportunities in the country.”
To further build its agriculture footprint, AFK also signed an agreement
in August 2016 with IFC’s agri-finance advisory team to revise the organization’s
agri-lending approach and build staff expertise in agri-financing.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3
billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the
power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a global effort
that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing agricultural
productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition
security. GAFSP targets countries with the highest rates of poverty and
hunger. The Public Sector Window helps governments with national agriculture
and food security plans. The Private Sector Window, managed by IFC, and
supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands,
the United Kingdom and the United States, provides long- and short-term
loans, credit guarantees, and equity to private sector companies to improve
productivity growth, deepen farmer’s links to markets, and increase capacity
and technical skills.
For more information about AFK, visit hwww.afkonline.org