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KARACHI: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has signed MoUs to partner with 14 Karachi based Financial Institutions (FIs) to extend financial support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The financial support will be provided for developing Livestock and horticulture value chains in targeted districts of Sindh and Balochistan under the Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP), a project funded by European Union (EU).

The banks include ABL, Bank Alfalah, JS Bank, Meezan Bank, NBL, UBL; Advans MFB, Pak Oman MFB, Sindh MFB, ASA Pakistan; and NBFIs, Shah Sachal Sami Foundation, Thardeep Microfinance Foundation, SAFCO Support Foundation and a support organization Sindh Enterprise Development Fund which will provide subsidy on mark-up for SMEs.

The partnership is a landmark to formalize financial support to MSME in targeted districts of Sindh and Balochistan working in specific value chains in Livestock and horticulture. The ceremony was attended by the CEOs and Group Heads of all Financial Institutions. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Irshad Khan Abbasi, Group Head Institution Development, Innovation and Integration, PPAF appreciated financial institutions’ coming on board with GRASP for the commitment to increase Access to Finance (A2F) for rural MSMEs.

He further added that PPAF is dedicated to expand financial inclusion and mainstreaming of MSMEs and this signing ceremony is another hallmark of PPAF’s commitment for channelising finance to targeted districts MSMEs of Sindh and Balochistan.

He also appreciated the efforts of Ms Robila Agha, A2F Specialist; Waseem Uddin Shaikh, A2F Manager; and GRASP Team on orchestrating these landmark partnerships. Tariq Sardar, Chief Technical Advisor, International Trade Centre (ITC) appreciated the role of the government in supporting the GRASP Project in strengthening and supporting SMEs.

He lauded the financial institutions’ support and proactiveness through this MoU in complementing GRASP efforts for access to finance.

The operations lead Sohail Khan Bangash term this as a historic occasion and reiterated that GRASP will continue supporting the SMEs in targeted districts of Sindh and Balochistan through matching grants coupled with financings from banks.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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