Credit Unions Bring Hope Amid Conflict: Afghanistan
This note reports on the opening of three investment and finance cooperatives (IFCs) or credit unions in Afghanistan in 2007. The unions based in Ayback, Puli-Khumri and Jalalabad, were funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with support from World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). The IFCs provide members with access to savings and loan services, and empower them to take active roles in democratic decision making. Total membership in the IFCs in Afghanistan has grown to more than 5,500 since their establishment three years ago. Highlights of the opening celebrations include:
- Active participation of locals despite tense situation in Jalalabad;
- Investment of withdrawable shares by members from farming and business sectors in exchange of loans;
- Representation of women on all IFC boards;
- Woman chairperson for Baghlan IFC board.