As part of the MicroLead programme, which is financed by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) in Myanmar, UNCDF is supporting three regional microfinance institutions (MFIs): Association for Social Advancements (ASA), Asia Confederation Credit Union (ACCU) and Alliance, to reach the goal of increasing sustainable access to appropriate, demand-driven and responsible financial services, with a focus on savings mobilization, to more than 100,000 low-income clients, at least half of whom are women and at least half of whom reside in rural areas.
On Wednesday, the 11th of November, Alliance became the first of these three institutions to get its permanent license for microfinance and was followed by ASA the next day.
Muhammed Faridur Rahman, the Managing Director for ASA Microfinance Myanmar, said: “It is our great pleasure to let you know that Financial Regularity Department (FRD) has issued a permanent license for ASA Microfinance Myanmar Limited (AMML), the Myanmar branch of ASA. All credit goes to our grassroots level workers who are working hard and untiringly to fulfill our mission in Myanmar. In this happy moment, I would like to convey our gratitude to our honorable chairman, Dirk Brouwer, and all staff of ASA who provide us with all sorts of cooperation and inspiration in achieving our targets in this Golden Country. I also express our heartfelt thanks to the UNCDF team for their excellent cooperation at our journey to success. Thanks also to all our stakeholders for their sincerest support.”
Before getting this permanent license, the MFIs had to renew their license every year. Despite a late start, the three partner institutions have totalled 30,000 clients in early November, which represent 75% of the 40,000 clients targeted by the programme by December 2015.
MicroLead is a global programme active in 21 countries. It is designed to bring regional microfinance institutions to the country to establish them as market leaders so they can foster the development of the microfinance sector. In Myanmar, this 7 million dollar programme financed by LIFT expects to reach 100,000 clients in 2017 and put an emphasis on women and rural populations.