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FMFB-A – Afghanistan recognized for its role in supporting access to quality housing

The First MicroFinance Bank (FMFB) Afghanistan has been awarded €10,000 as a finalist to the 8th edition of the European Microfinance Award held on the 30th of November 2017.

The Award is granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and is jointly organized by the Ministry, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The objective is to promote microfinance initiatives and highlight their contribution to the development of the sector.

37 Microfinance Banks and Institutions operating in 23 countries applied for this year’s award, which focused on the role of microfinance in supporting access to better quality residential housing for low income, vulnerable or otherwise financially excluded groups with no or limited access to housing finance in the mainstream sector.

FMFB – Afghanistan was recognized for its response to war, natural disasters and lack of verifiable title with a home improvement loan, provided with construction technical assistance offered through a network of partner experts. Targeting rural clients and focusing on facilitating incremental building and home improvement, FMFB Afghanistan was noted for its focus on providing expert technical support and the flexibility of its loan terms, as well as the particularly challenging context in which it operates.

Since 2008, with the support of grants and technical assistance from expert partners, FMFB-A has been developing housing services, based on regular and extensive marketing research. The purpose of the housing improvement loan (HIL) is to improve the house conditions or to extend the house structure. It is offered mainly in urban areas. The terms and conditions are flexible and in 15 branches, the product is accompanied by construction advisory services: there are 11 engineers hired to provide clients with technical advice on house structure intervention projects as well as to disburse the loans. The Bank has also built 3 demo houses, where clients can experience and understand how to construct, add units or renovate the structure of their house.

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