ADB extends loans to help rural poor in Nepal

15:43, June 18, 2010      

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed on Friday to support the second phase of development program in Nepal.

The ADB Board of Directors approved on Friday a loan of 60.4 million U.S. dollars of equivalent, and a grant of 12.1 million dollars, both from its concessional Asian Development Fund, for the second phase of the Rural Finance Sector Development Cluster Program, and for a related sector project.

Nepal is emerging from a decade-long period of conflict into a new phase of reconciliation and rebuilding, and has made substantial headway in reducing poverty. But in the countryside, including remote hilly areas, poverty rates remain high. A lack of access to affordable credit is a key factor holding back development.

"The policy and institutional reforms under this phase of the program will transform key rural financial institutions into viable finance intermediaries with a strong client orientation and pro-poor focus, while improving the efficiency and outreach of semiformal institutions," said Mayumi Ozaki, Finance Specialist of the Rural and Microfinance sector in ADB's South Asia Department.

The cluster program is targeting an increase in credit access to the rural poor from 1 million accounts in 2008, to 1.17 million by 2012, and an increase in women's access to finance from 200,000 accounts to 283,000 over the same period.



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