Microfinance Focus, September 26, 2011: The USAID-Tijara Provincial Economic Growth Program in collaboration with Iraq’s 12 microfinance institutions will hold an Inclusive Financial Services Stakeholders Conference in Erbil on October 3 and 4. The conference is themed ‘Transforming Inclusive Financial Services for Increasing Outreach’.
The forum will attract Iraqi policy makers, international rating institutions, donors, commercial bankers, representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The forum will discuss institutional reform, transparency, governance, how to better serve vulnerable groups such as youth and women while developing new, demand-driven products and alternative collaterals. Strategic business planning and the development of a credit bureau also will be studied.
Planet Rating, Shore Bank International and the Central Bank of Iraq will be among those participating.
Since 2003, Iraq’s microfinance industry has made 313,300 microloans with a total disbursed value of over $729 million. Iraq’s microfinance industry currently has 84,000 clients, over 16,218 of whom are women, with an outstanding loan portfolio of $123 million.