ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has disbursed Rs 9.2 billion microfinance loans during a period from July to March (2016-17) through its partner organisations, official sources said on Sunday.
PPAF extended 246,142 new micro credit loans to the borrowers, including 60 per cent to women, sources said, adding that under the Prime Minister Interest-Free Loans (PMIFL) scheme, PPAF administered 93,427 interest-free loans, and 62 per cent women were facilitated in this scheme.
PPAF has adopted a poverty graduation approach for the poorest households in over 1,600 union councils out of 6000 in the country and has helped the very poor household to assist them out of poverty on a sustainable basis.
During the period under review, a total of 646 community organisations (COs) were formed and 5,488 community and PO staff members were trained, out of which 32 per cent were women.
These initiatives were taken under Institutional Development and Social Mobilization component of the fund.
Similarly, under Livelihood, Employment and Enterprise Development (LEED) component, 6,951 individuals received skills or entrepreneurial training, including 43 per cent women, and 3,212 productive assets were transferred to vulnerable poor, including 39 per cent women.
In recent years, Pakistan’s microfinance sector has witnessed phenomenal growth and rose considerably in last five years. Within microcredit, number of active borrowers stood at 4.6 million at end of December 2016, recording a 22 per cent growth during the year 2016.
Gross loan portfolio registered 47 per cent growth to reach at Rs 140 billion by end of December 2016 compared to Rs 93 billion at the end of 2015.
PPAF aims to promote an effective approach to poverty alleviation, which is aligned closely with Pakistan’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The fund promotes overall holistic and multi-sectoral strategy to generate broad and deep impacts at the community level.
It is pertinent to mention here that the goal one of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), “No Poverty”, calls for an end to poverty in all its manifestations everywhere by 2030.
Although, this is in complete consonance with a slogan of Pakistan Vision 2025 “No one left behind”, but at the same time, it poses the challenge of eradicating poverty in all its dimensions and from all parts of Pakistan,” the sources said.