Robust Microfinance Sectors Post-conflict: West Africa
Lessons learned in developing microfinance in conflict-affected regions
This short note from the field focuses on how a robust microfinance sector can be developed in a conflict-affected area.
The note highlights:
- Efforts in Liberia to restart microfinance operations now that the 13 year intermittent civil war is over;
- The experience in Sierra Leone, where after an 11 year conflict the microfinance sector is emerging as a powerful force for development - currently serving over 40,000 clients.
Based on these two examples, the note shares some of the following insights:
- Donor coordination in post-conflict areas is crucial since MFIs must reach scale quickly to establish legitimacy;
- Human resources are a major bottleneck in MFI development;
- Livelihood programs, working in conjunction with microfinance, increase the potential number of clients for MFIs.
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