Economic disparity characterizes the Middle East & South Asia; oil-rich areas have dramatically increased their standard of living, while other areas lag far behind. War and political strife have increased the gap between rich and poor. By enabling marginalized groups—refugees, women, and the un- and under-employed—to improve their productivity, FINCA is fostering social and economic change in culturally appropriate and sensitive ways. Our dedicated and highly-skilled microfinance professionals encourage women’s participation in the economy, and work to develop financial products that comply with Islamic laws.
On November 18, 2007, FINCA International launched FINCA Jordan, the newest program in the Greater Middle East. FINCA Jordan has grown rapidly since beginning operations, with women accounting for 98 percent of all loan recipients, a strong indication that women are major contributors to their families’ well being in Jordan.
FINCA disbursed its first loans in Afghanistan in February 2004 to six women from the Herat area. By the end of that month, 65 Herati citizens, almost half of them women, had received FINCA microloans. In 2006, the program was able to expand as a part of an $80 million rural finance project, the Agriculture, Rural Investment and Enterprise Strengthening (ARIES) Program for Afghanistan, funded by USAID. Today, the program operates in eight provinces.
FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. (FINCA Pakistan) is the newest subsidiary in the FINCA network. Acquired by FINCA in 2013 and headquartered in Lahore, the bank serves more than 30,000 clients through 46 branches in the Punjab region.