Kosovo, Pristina, June 13, 2018—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a €1 million loan to Agency for Finance in Kosovo (AFK), the country’s fourth-largest microfinance institution, to boost access to finance for micro and small businesses, and small farmers and agri-businesses in rural and semi-urban areas, in particular.
Medium to long-term funding is critical for developing Kosovo’s private sector and creating jobs, but remains scarce across much of the country. AFK is one of the few microfinance institutions not headquartered in the capital Pristina but in Peja, and serves more than 14,000 customers through a nationwide 20-branch network. Around 40 percent of AFK’s clients are farmers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector, who often face challenges when trying to secure funds from commercial banks.
“IFC will help us to improve and increase our lending to entrepreneurs and farmers in Kosovo,” said Vahdet Anadolli, CEO of AFK. “IFC’s loan is also an important recognition for the work AFK has been doing over the past several years.”
The investment comprises a €0.7 million loan for IFC’s own account and a €0.3 million loan from IFC, as the implementing entity for the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).
“By extending this loan to AFK, we are reaffirming our confidence in Kosovo’s microfinance sector,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. “AFK is the third microfinance institution in Kosovo we are supporting, as this sector is essential for channeling funds to urban and rural entrepreneurs, who are generating growth and employment opportunities in the country.”
To further build its agriculture footprint, AFK also signed an agreement in August 2016 with IFC’s agri-finance advisory team to revise the organization’s agri-lending approach and build staff expertise in agri-financing.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a global effort that pools donor resources to fund programs focused on increasing agricultural productivity as a way to reduce poverty and increase food and nutrition security. GAFSP targets countries with the highest rates of poverty and hunger. The Public Sector Window helps governments with national agriculture and food security plans. The Private Sector Window, managed by IFC, and supported by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, provides long- and short-term loans, credit guarantees, and equity to private sector companies to improve productivity growth, deepen farmer’s links to markets, and increase capacity and technical skills.
For more information about AFK
, visit hwww.afkonline.org