MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Advise Microfinance Institution (MFI) Agency for Finance of Kosovo (AFK) on Agricultural Services

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to increase economic growth in developing countries, recently announced that it will advise the Agency for Finance (AFK), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Kosovo, on lending strategy and methods to finance the development of the country’s agricultural sector. IFC will also provide unspecified support to financial and business training sessions that AFK plans to offer to Kosovar farmers.

Leah Soroka, IFC’s Europe and Central Asia Agri-Finance Program Manager, said that “IFC supports financial institutions as intermediaries, allowing them to reach out to a growing number of small-hold farmers, supporting innovations in the sector and spurring job creation”[1]. Vahdet Anadolli, the chief executive officer of AFK, added that “we will continue to develop our agri-lending to help our clients by providing customized working capital and access to finance for different stakeholders along sustainable supply chains”[1].

IFC will provide support to AFK under the IFC Europe and Central Asia Agri-Finance Project, an initiative that aims to expand financial inclusion in the agricultural sector of Azerbaijan and Ukraine as well as in the Central Asia and Western Balkans regions. The initiative will also receive unspecified support from the Austrian government and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank, a credit agency owned by the government of Hungary.

Kosovo has been a member of IFC since 2009. IFC has invested USD 391 million in Kosovo, and it contributed approximately USD 5 million to the country’s trade finance program between 2009 and 2017. AFK reported total assets of USD 15.4 million, total equity of USD 2 million, a gross loan portfolio of USD 13.9 million and approximately 10,000 active borrowers as of 2015. The organization does not accept deposits.

By Alíz Crowley, Research Associate

About Agency for Finance (AFK)

Agency for Finance (AFK) is a non-banking microfinance institution (MFI) in Kosovo. The organization was founded in 1999 by Mercy Corps, a US-based humanitarian agency that still controls two of AFK’s five board seats as of 2017. AFK aims to improve living standards in Kosovo by providing financial access to small businesses and microenterprises. The MFI reported total assets of USD 15.4 million, total equity of USD 2 million, a gross loan portfolio of USD 13.9 million and approximately 10,000 thousand active borrowers as of 2015. The organization does not accept deposits.

About the International Finance Corporation (IFC)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a US-based member of the World Bank Group, offers loans, equity investments, advisory and risk mitigation services and technical assistance to private companies with the intent of alleviating poverty and promoting open and competitive markets in developing countries. As of 2016, IFC has 184 member countries that drive its policies and approve disbursements. As of that same year, IFC reported total assets of USD 90.4 billion and net loss of USD 33 million.

Sources and Additional Resources

[1] International Finance Corporation, News and Events,IFC, AFK Work Together to Boost Lending to Kosovo Farmers

[2] Agency for Finance Website, About Us

[3] Mix Market Profile on Agency for Finance (AFK)

[4] Information provided directly to MicroCapital by Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps:
https://www.mercycorps.org/articles/kosovo/mercy-corps-small-enterprise-development-program-celebrates-milestone

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Agency for Finance (AFK)

MicroCapital Universe Profile: International Finance Corporation

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