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IFC Shares Lessons Learnt on Risk Management in Afghanistan


IFC in Kabul:
Josep Desquens
Phone: 070662544
E-mail: jdesquens@ifc.org


Da Afghanistan Bank:
Aimal Hashoor, Spokesperson
Phone: 0799113838 or 0772125714
Email: aimalhashoor@gmail.com

Kabul, Afghanistan, July 21 2009–IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping raise awareness among senior bank and government officials in Afghanistan about risk management in financial markets amid the unfolding global financial crisis. This will help build Afghanistan’s emerging financial sector, which is key to developing the private sector and creating jobs.

Today, IFC and Da Afghanistan Bank (the Central Bank of Afghanistan) jointly organized a conference to provide a platform for participants to share experiences and lessons learned about risk management in today’s turbulent and rapidly-changing financial environment. The dialogue helped the banking industry to keep apprised of financial-sector policymaking changes in developed and emerging countries.

“Over the half day of intense – but fruitful – discussions, we have learned a great deal about how risks can be managed even though few resources are available. Today’s conference has indeed proved to be the starting point for sharing experiences between the IFC and Afghanistan’s emerging financial sector,” said Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, Governor of Da Afghanistan Bank, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.    
During a half day conference, participants  discussed lessons learned from the crisis in risk management, managing risk in an Islamic shari'ah environment, SME banking, challenges and opportunities in housing finance, and how to  extend access to finance to  the underserved  through microfinance products.
 

“Risk management begins with creating an appropriate culture within organizations. This conference provided the opportunity to exchange views, ideas, predictions, and solutions to ensure that we are all better prepared in the future,” said James Gohary, IFC Senior Operations Manager.

IFC’s investment portfolio in Afghanistan totals $95 million in five companies. IFC Advisory Services complement its investments by helping build the capacity of financial institutions to lend to micro and small businesses, and working with the government to establish regulatory frameworks for leasing and housing sector lending. Moreover, it is advising the Central Bank set up credit and collateral registries. IFC is also building practical business skills of local entrepreneurs and supporting small and medium enterprises in such sectors as agribusiness.

About IFC
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.