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CGAP Award for The First MicroFinanceBank, Pakistan


Karachi, Pakistan, 29 July 2006 - The First MicroFinanceBank Limited (FMFB), an institution of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, received one of the coveted 2006 transparency awards from The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a subsidiary of the World Bank.

FMFB was one of five top institutions to receive the award. More than 175 applications from Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) across the globe were received. FMFB, now in its fourth year, was one of two institutions selected for the honour from South East Asia and the only MFI from Pakistan.

The 2006 selection builds on the "Honorable Mention" in Financial Transparency Award given to The First MicroFinanceBank Ltd by CGAP in 2004.

In her message, Patricia Mwangi, Microfinance Specialist and Manager, CGAP Financial Transparency Award, said, “Through sheer determination to win, FMFB has dramatically improved its financial reporting, becoming one of the five winners of the global 2005 CGAP Financial Transparency Award from a group of 175 applicants. Along the way, FMFB management exhibited an extraordinary commitment to learn and to develop its staff. Not only did FMFB request a CGAP consultant to help boost its reporting function, it made good on all of his recommendations, adapting best practice disclosure and becoming a model for other microfinance institutions in Pakistan and beyond,” she added.

At a separate event held recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The First MicroFinanceBank Ltd, Pakistan and ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited to help reduce poverty by providing financial support to women in Pakistan.

The Women’s Access to Capital and Technology (WACT) project aims to provide sustainable, accessible and pro-poor financial services to women all over the country. UNDP Country Director Haoliang Xu said, “This renewed partnership will ensure more easily accessible credit for women in Pakistan. We are confident that these initiatives will enable the further empowerment of women”. Through these partnerships, approximately 10,000 women entrepreneurs in rural and urban areas will be targeted. More than Rs 150 million is expected to be disbursed by the end of 2006, he said. As its core strategic initiative, The First Microfinance Bank Ltd (FMFB), in its second phase, is developing (and will eventually disseminate) targeted financial education to micro entrepreneurs in rural and urban areas.

For more information about the CGAP awards, please see the CGAP awards.

For further information about the award and the First MicroFinanceBank, please contact:
Hussain Tejany
President and CEO
The First MicroFinanceBank Ltd.
Karachi.
Tel: (021) 582-2435
Fax: (021) 582-2434
E-mail: fmfbnp@cyber.net.pk

Notes:
CGAP
More than a billion poor people lack access to the basic financial services essential for them to manage their precarious lives. CGAP is a consortium of 31 public and private development agencies working together to expand access to financial services for the poor in developing countries. CGAP was created by these aid agencies and industry leaders to help create permanent financial services for the poor on a large scale (often referred to as "microfinance"). CGAP's unique membership structure and network of worldwide partners make it a potent convening platform to generate global consensus on standards and norms. As such, CGAP is a resource center for the entire microfinance industry, where it incubates and supports new ideas, innovative products, cutting-edge technology, novel mechanisms for delivering financial services, and concrete solutions to the challenges of expanding microfinance.

FMFB
The First MicroFinanceBank Ltd is an institution of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM). AKAM is responsible for overseeing all the microfinance programs, institutions and banks operated, in over 15 countries, by the Aga Khan Development Network. FMFB was incorporated in November 2001 and was formally inaugurated in March 2002. Its objective is to alleviate poverty through an institutionalized national approach. FMFB operates 36 units located all over Pakistan. It offers a full array of financial services including loans, savings, micro-insurance, services and remittances.

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