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  • Hoyda Manaa al Katreeb has taken out four consecutive loans from AKAM to establish what is now the largest shop in the village.
    AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
  • 59 percent of the First MicroFinance Institution Syria (FMFI-S)’s customers are in rural areas and 25 percent are women.
    AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
  • FMFI-S is the leading private-sector microfinance provider in Syria, providing access to financial services to its poorest and most marginalised populations.
    AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
  • FMFI-S is the leading private-sector microfinance provider in Syria, providing access to financial services to its poorest and most marginalised populations.
    AKDN / Jean-Luc Ray
Microfinance
AKDN began operating a microfinance programme in 2003, and in 2008, under the new microfinance decree, it incorporated First MicroFinance Institution Syria (FMFI-S) as a microfinance company and obtained a deposit-taking license.

Until the outbreak of conflict, AKDN's work spanned six major provinces (Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Lattakia, Sweida and Tartous), serving both rural and urban populations, and encompassing rural economic development, tourism and enterprise development, the strengthening of civil society organizations and the protection of cultural heritage.

Following FMFI-S’s establishment, other microfinance institutions opened including UNRWA’s Ebdaa Bank, and the National Institution for Microfinance, Al-Wataniya. The sector was thriving until the outbreak of the conflict, which led these institutions to stop operating completely. Operations were resumed at a rudimentary level as the security situation in the Damascus governorate became more stable towards the end of 2014.

Since the onset of the crisis, FMFI has partnered with local organizations to facilitate aid distribution projects such as cash assistance through savings accounts – providing immediate relief while promoting a culture of financial inclusion.