UNDP presents “Support to Microfinance Sector Development” Project
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
On 22 January 2010, a presentation of the UNDP “Support to Microfinance Sector Development” Project was held in the conference-hall of “Poytaht” Business Center in Tashkent.
“Support to the Development of Microfinance” Project resembles a newly launched initiative of UNDP in Uzbekistan, and aims at supporting further development and sustainability of the microfinance sector. The ultimate objective of the Project is to facilitate the establishment of a viable, effective, and sustainable microfinance sector by consolidating efforts of all stakeholders including relevant government agencies and mobilizing support of international donors and financial institutions.
It is necessary to note, that the essence of the Project lies in providing technical assistance to the improvement of the legal framework of microfinance sector and advocacy of the social impact of microfinance, strengthening of the regulatory and supervisory capacity of the Central Bank in terms of supervision of the microfinance sector, as well as establishment of a sustainable system of microcredit organizations and institutional capacity-building of National Association of Microfinance Organizations and Credit Unions (NAMOCU). In fact, such an integrated approach is expected to lead to development and strengthening of microcredit organizations and establishment of a free access to financial services. In addition, another crucial aspect of Projects activity includes awareness campaign targeted at general public, particularly rural population and women, on microfinance through conducting a nationwide media campaign, and developing and promoting various publications.
Project Manager, Ms. Dildora Tadjibaeva briefed the main partners and major stakeholders, particularly, the representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, relevant ministries, Central Bank, commercial banks, microcredit organizations, and international organizations on the Project’s goals, planned activities and expected outcomes. In addition, the guests of the presentation were familiarized with the current state and development perspectives of the microfinance sector development in Uzbekistan, as well as with the activity of the Microfinance Centre in Central Asia.
It is necessary to note, that the establishment and development background of microfinance practice in Uzbekistan demonstrates the extent to which the economy, and particularly, small business and general population, experiencing limited access to financial services, were in an urgent need for this type of financial service. The ability to obtain relatively small financial resources instantly enabled small businesses to overcome the existing constraints, and plan their business activities in a more confident and sustainable manner.
The United Nations Development Programme over the course of its activity in Uzbekistan, has been strongly supporting the initiatives focused on welfare improvement and achievement of Millennium Development Goals, particularly, poverty reduction and women empowerment. Starting with 1998, UNDP Uzbekistan initiated the first micro-credit programs which launched the first NGO type Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in rural Uzbekistan.
Piloting of the abovementioned microfinance projects proved the essence and relevance of such services, and attracted the interest of the Government. In fact, a state program on microfinance development for 2007-2010, outlining various aspects of microfinance, e.g., educational, consultancy, organizational, legal, and practical, was adopted.