The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and al Amana Microfinance are launching a new program to improve access to finance for microenterprises in the country, especially those led by women, support economic activity, job creation, and post-COVID-19 recovery.
Under the agreement signed last Friday, IFC will provide $8 million in financing to al Amana Microfinance, which will enable it to scale up its impact and reach more micro-entrepreneurs and informal businesses, with at least half of the loan which will be earmarked to support women and women-owned businesses. “IFC is a trusted partner for us in difficult times,” said Youssef Bencheqroun, Managing Director of al Amana Microfinance, on the occasion. And to note that many micro-enterprises in Morocco have faced immense difficulties during the pandemic and have had to scale back or temporarily cease their activities. Thus, “this new funding will allow us to meet the needs of our customers so that they can restart their activities and return to their pre-pandemic level”, he added.
For Cheick-Oumar Sylla, IFC Regional Director for North Africa, this support to al Amana Microfinance will improve access to finance for many microenterprises, including those run by women, and to continue their activities. “With this funding, IFC reaffirms its confidence in microfinance organizations to continue supporting the most underserved microenterprises facing difficult economic times and the pandemic,” he continues.
IFC’s financing for al Amana is part of its Base of the Pyramid Program, launched in 2021 to encourage financial service providers to facilitate access to finance for microenterprises facing crisis. The Base of the Pyramid program is an extension of IFC’s Fast Track COVID-19 Facility initiative.
al Amana Microfinance and IFC have been partners since 2006 through a technical assistance program that assessed its institutional readiness for transformation in the event of regulatory reform in Morocco.
IFC provided financial support to al Amana in 2007 and 2018, along with technical assistance to help the institution strengthen its risk management, support its digital transformation, and elevate its governance and environmental and social practices to the best international standards.