Focus Microfinance: OXUS Kyrgyzstan
In January 2003, ACTED launched its first microfinance programme in Kyrgyzstan, as part of a project funded by the European Union and ICCO on “Rural Development and Cross Border Cooperation in the Ferghana Valley”. In August 2006, OXUS Kyrgyzstan was officially registered and licensed as a Micro Credit Company (MCC), thus taking over ACTED’s microfinance portfolio, mainly clients living in southern rural areas.
Since 2000 Kyrgyzstan has made big socio economic progress, with extreme poverty declining by an average of 4% a year across the 2000-2008 period. However, the level of poverty is still significant: almost 34% of the population live below the national poverty line. Thanks to a thorough legal framework and strong economic incentives, major microfinance institutions – both local and international – have been increasingly active in the country. OXUS Kyrgyzstan offers individual and group loans. Most Oxus clients work in the agriculture and livestock sectors.
OXUS Kyrgyzstan became part of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation’s portfolio in July 2016 due to its agricultural specificity and its efforts to promote women, the two priorities of the GCA Foundation. The Foundation has thus granted an initial loan of € 500,000 euros over three-year period to the institution. To date, Oxus Kyrgyzstan has 5,400 active borrowers, 44% of whom are women and 75% of them living in rural areas.
This is the second investment we made in Kyrgyzstan, a country with a highly diversified microfinance sector that provides about one third of private financing in the country.