Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association supports female entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19
BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 30
By Fidan Babayeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) started implementation of the project aimed at economic support to rural women affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the association’s Executive Director Jala Hajiyeva told Trend.
This project is part of a larger program to promote the active and effective participation of civil society organizations in the development and implementation of the national agenda to achieve gender-sensitive sustainable development goals, as well as strengthen gender equality and empower women, which is in line with the five sustainable development goals of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), co-financed by the EU and UNDP.
"The goal of the proposed activities is to minimize economic damage, to support rural women including women with disabilities, in generating income during the post-coronavirus period, as well as to study the post-coronavirus economic phase," she said.
“Azerbaijan Microfinance Association has implemented more than 50 international projects,” Hajiyeva noted. “Encouragement of female entrepreneurship will be among the main activities of AMFA this year.”
"The ongoing AMFA projects in Nakhchivan and the Ismayilli district are aimed at empowering rural women for developing entrepreneurial skills, expanding market opportunities and providing them with financial support. During the year of implementation, 390 women from Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and 71 women from Ismayilli district participated in the project; 47 of them are women with disabilities, and others are from low-income families," she stressed.
Microfinancing was introduced in Azerbaijan in the mid-1990s to meet the economic needs of up to 1 million internally displaced persons (IDP) and refugees, as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In 1996, the International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) began offering microfinancing services to low-income locals and war-affected people to create income and employment opportunities.
The INGO began to meet informally to exchange business experience and remove restrictions on the provision of loans with interest rates. In December 2001, members of INGOs decided to consummate the group as an association, which will serve as the focal point for microfinance in Azerbaijan.
Follow the author on Twitter: Fidan_Babaeva