Islamabad: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) have signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide financial support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to venture in the livestock and horticulture sectors. This support will be channelized through the EU funded Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) project, being implemented by International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with PPAF and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 22 districts of Sindh and Balochistan.
The First Women Bank Limited has now become part of a consortium of 22 leading Financial Institutions (FIs) of Pakistan that have partnered with PPAF to uplift the agribusinesses in the GRASP target areas.
Mr Nadir Gul Barech, COO, PPAF, while sharing his views at the MoU signing ceremony, highlighted PPAF’s role in poverty reduction through various indigenous programs throughout Pakistan since last over two decades. Offering linkages for the deliberation of FWBL’s CSR component, Mr Barech emphasised that the collaboration with the commercial banking sector has an important role to achieve common goals.
Mr Farukh Iqbal Khan, President & CEO, FWBL, informed the participants that perusing its mandate of women’s economic empowerment, FWBL always respond to opportunities where this role could be advanced. He further elaborated that this partnership through the GRASP project will help to reach the women in the remotest regions of the country facilitating their participation in the country’s formal economy.
Earlier, Mr Irshad Abbasi, Group Head, PPAF, mentioned about PPAF’s commitment to reduce poverty through different enabling programs like the provision of Digital Financial Services at the community level. Ms Robila Agha, Access to Finance Specialist, GRASP, summarised the collaboration of a commercial bank targeted for women and said that FWBL and GRASP project will help in graduating MSMEs to a higher paradigm of economic growth. It was agreed upon that based on this MoU; a detailed action plan will be formulated for the future collaborated efforts.
https://tribune.com.pk/epaper/2022-04-19/1 [page 18]