MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Canada to Invest $6m in Afghanistan’s Zardozi to Support Women’s Economic Empowerment

The government of Canada recently announced it will donate USD 5.9 million from 2016 to 2020 to Zardozi, an Afghanistan-based NGO supporting women in establishing microenterprises. The project aims to train civil society actors in Afghanistan to support women trying to start small businesses. The effort includes establishing “community business centers” to conduct skills-development training sessions and workshops.

The aid is a part of USD 40 million allocated by the Canadian government over the next five years to support seven projects to promote health services, economic empowerment and the safety of children and women in Afghanistan [1].

Zardozi works through Zardozi Enterprise, employing Afghan refugee women in Pakistan, and the Zardozi Programme, a donor funded group linking women to local Afghan markets. In the year 2015, Zardozi disbursed loans worth USD 66,500 and supported 700 women in establishing microbusinesses.

By Sharanya Madhavan, Research Associate

About Zardozi

Zardozi was established as an NGO in 2006 by The Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR) to support female artisans and microentrepreneurs. Zardozi works through Zardozi Enterprise, employing Afghan refugee women in Pakistan, and the Zardozi Programme, a donor funded group linking women to local Afghan markets. During 2015, Zardozi disbursed loans worth USD 66,500, supporting 700 women to establish microbusinesses. The average income of the participating women reportedly rose by 400 percent.

Sources ad Additional Resources

[1] Government of Canada: Announcement of projects in Afghanistan

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