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Improving Access to Finance, Investing in Afghanistan’s Future

The Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan project helps the Afghan government and private sector generate and sustain top-quality jobs by strengthening the country’s financial sector.
Representing 38 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product and 80 percent of the labor force, micro-, small, and medium agricultural enterprises (MSMEs) are an important driver of the country’s economy. Greater access to finance allows MSMEs to invest in their businesses to expand production, upgrade equipment, and hire more employees.
Through USAID’s Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan project, Chemonics is building the capacity of Afghan financial institutions to provide effective financing to agribusinesses and is developing a legal framework and market infrastructure in which financial sector institutions and their business partners create value that provides opportunity for all Afghans.
The project supports MSMEs by delivering innovative financial products and services, linking retail financial institutions with existing value chain relationships and agricultural networks to lower transaction costs and risk, and providing comprehensive advisory services that reduce risk and increase profit for Afghan financial institutions. Through this project, Chemonics builds the capacity of financial sector associations, training providers, and infrastructure organizations to deliver necessary support to lenders. The project creates an enabling environment for lenders and their business clients that reduces risk and increases certainty to improve economic growth in Afghanistan.
The project is also harnessing the power of mobile money and branchless banking as a delivery mechanism for services through partnerships with and between mobile network operators, microfinance institutions, and banks. It will provide technical assistance to Afghan mobile network operators in developing mobile money products, and through its mobile money innovation grant fund, will foster introduction of new money products and services.
Project Results
Mobile money. The program launched a $5 million mobile money innovation fund, including grants to three major mobile service providers to establish the foundation and infrastructure for mobile money services, as well as a nationwide contest for Afghan university students to develop innovative mobile money applications.
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