USAID Improves Livelihoods for Afghan Women Through Credit Shura

USAID Improves Livelihoods for Afghan Women Through Credit Shura
USAID Improves Livelihoods for Afghan Women Through Credit Shura
USAID/Afghanistan

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Balkh, Afghanistan – One of the most difficult challenges for female farmers and women who operate agriculture-related businesses in Afghanistan is access to credit. In addition, many women often do not understand how credit can help grow their businesses. To address these challenges, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosted a Women’s Agricultural Credit Shura in Mazar-e-Sharif to raise awareness about agricultural credit.

“This is a critical program in giving women the financial means to provide for their families, as well as the educational skills to understand how credit works and why it is crucial to their success,” said USAID Mission Director Peter Natiello. “We will continue to support women entrepreneurs in agriculture and provide women with the tools to improve their lives.”

The event brought together a number of top microfinance institutions in Afghanistan and financial experts to share their experiences with the women. About 80 participants learned about women’s economic rights, the types of credit available—traditional and Islamic—and how credit can help grow their businesses. They also discussed challenges that women face in accessing credit.

USAID focuses on wheat, high-value crops such as grapes and melons, and livestock. USAID helps producers, associations, traders, and agribusinesses to respond to market demand and help create market links between farmers and small, medium, and large businesses that allow the private sector to grow.

USAID’s agriculture projects operate throughout the country, with project offices in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. USAID supports sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, in line with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock's National Comprehensive Agricultural Development Priority Program. USAID’s programs contribute significantly towards economic growth and employment in Afghanistan.

With almost $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the Government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, to establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and to provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.

Last updated: August 20, 2019

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