Microfinance & Home Improvement, AfghanistanImproving Homes Through Microfinance & Eco-friendly Repairs in Afghanistan
Years of war and suffering have forced people in Afghanistan to use inadequate shelter with no means to finance repairs. The Khana Loan Initiative brings together three Aga Khan Development Network agencies with a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to assist families with home improvements. Our Foundation, Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance and First Microfinance Bank, Afghanistan are working together to provide home construction assessments and advice to owners on efficient improvements as well as expand access to loans for home repair.
The initiative expands First Microfinance Bank-Afghanistan’s (FMFB-A’s) microfinance portfolio, a program that rolls out housing microfinance products for rural areas. In addition to microfinance loans, families have access to home construction consultations where they can speak to trained professionals who advise them on home improvements. The professionals guide clients to better building materials and construction techniques as well as promote upgrades that address earthquake resistance, sanitation, ventilation, energy efficiency and limited infrastructure.
The initiative plans to expand with a Construction Advisory Service. This advisory service will ensure that individuals provided with loans make smart, long-lasting investments by providing guidance to invest in critical construction improvements and upgrades that will improve the entire family’s health and safety.
FMFB-A already offers housing loans in 21 urban branches in seven Afghan provinces. The program has trained 345 microfinance bank staff to evaluate loan requests. As a result, 5,000 active borrowers now have funds to make critical home improvements.
With nearly one third of these borrowers living under $1 per day, these loans are crucial to improving homes. The program has already made 5,600 loans and aims to distribute 10,000 loans that will provide better homes for thousands of men, women and children in Afghanistan.