Asia Plus
6 July 2004


AKDN has opened microfinance bank in Dushanbe that will deal in granting credits to needy families and other sections of the republic.

DUSHANBE, July 6, Asia-Plus /Roza Shaposhnik/ -- A microfinance bank has been opened in Tajikistan under financial support of the Aga Khan Development (AKDN). Visiting His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, and Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov inaugurated the bank yesterday, July 5.

His Highness the Aga Khan following his meeting with President Rahmonov told journalists that the bank’s activity was aimed at combating poverty in Tajikistan. According to him, the bank will deal in granting credits to individuals, financial groups and especially needy families and other sections of the republic. The initial capital of the bank is 3 million US dollars, and interest on the bank’s loans is determined at 18 percent per year. His Highness the Aga Khan said that it was the third microfinance bank in the region. The other two are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

His Highness the Aga Khan said that he would assist the Tajik Government in supporting the country’s population, the majority part of which is living below the poverty line, in future as well.

His Highness the Aga Khan noted that the AKDN was implementing a series of economic and social projects in Tajikistan. Among them are the Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP), “PamirEnergy” project and GSM venture “Indigo-Tajikistan”.

Meantime, Afghanistan’s Vice-President Nematullo Shahroni has arrived in Dushanbe to attend a ceremony of opening of the bridge across the Panj River in Darvoz District of Gorno Badakhshan linking Tajikistan with Afghanistan. It is the second of a series of bridges across the Panj River that will consolidate permanent overland links between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The Tajik MFA Information Department says the bridge-opening ceremony will be held today, July 6. Tajik President Emomali Rahmonov, His Highness the Aga Khan, and Afghanistan’s Vice-President Nematullo Shahroni are inaugurating the bridge.

The project is undertaken by the Aga khan Development Network (AKDN) in cooperation with the two government for the purpose of improving the flow of aid, commerce and trade within Central Asia.

Information of Asia-Plus: The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has since 1993, launched a number of successful initiatives in Tajikistan in areas ranging from agrarian reform to education, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. The AKDN is a group of private development agencies working to empower communities and individuals, often in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in Asia and Africa. The Network’s agencies work for the common good of all citizens, irrespective of their gender, origin or religion and its impulse is the ethic of compassion for the vulnerable in society.

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