DUSHANBE, September 30, Asia-Plus – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) helps increase availability of credit for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Kyrgyzstan, especially in rural areas.

Press release issued by the EBRD says the Bank is supporting small businesses in Kyrgyzstan by providing funding to The First MicroCredit Company (FMCC) for the benefit of its MSME customers, especially in rural areas.

A loan in Kyrgyz som equivalent to US$ 1.5 million will be on-lent to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with a focus on Osh and Naryn regions.

This local currency loan is expected to help FMCC’s customers, who receive most of their revenues in som to avoid foreign exchange risk.

FMCC is a well-established MFI, wholly owned by the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, a part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).  FMCC has a strong presence in the Southern Osh and Naryn regions, which account for a third of the total population of the Kyrgyz Republic.

“First Microcredit Company is a new partner MFI for us in Kyrgyzstan. Together, we hope to reach out to Kyrgyz entrepreneurs, especially in the South of the country, and by offering local currency loans to help them develop and grow their businesses in these difficult financial times”, said Larisa Manastirli, Head of EBRD office in Bishkek.

“We well appreciate EBRD’s support in providing us local currency funding, which is strongly needed in the local market,” said Chris Hering, the General Director of FMCC.  “We will use the loan to increase funding to MSMEs, especially in agriculture, in line with our mission of supporting our small business clients and poverty alleviation.

Since the beginning of its operations in Kyrgyzstan, the EBRD has invested over €432 million in the country, in over 100 projects.

The Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).  The agencies of the AKDN are private, international, non-denominational development organizations. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa.  The AKDN works in 30 countries around the world and employs approximately 80,000 people.