How access to finance supports economic stability in Iraq
OPIC has in recent years increasingly focused its investments in regions affected by conflict. By supporting economic development in these regions, OPIC supports national security and foreign policy priorities, and today about one-third of OPIC’s portfolio is in conflict affected regions.
OPIC’s work supporting microfinance investing in Iraq was recently featured by the Center for Financial Inclusion. By country, Iraq represents OPIC’s second largest microfinance exposure. Through its partnership with Global Communities’ Vitas Iraq, OPIC has supported an estimated 107,500 microfinance loans disbursed since 2012, including 26,500 to women and 61,560 to first-time borrowers.
“Limited access to credit in the developing world is often exacerbated by conflict, which presents a strong demand for microfinance,” writes OPIC Investment Officer Iftin Fatah. “In Iraq, for example, only 11 percent of adults hold an account at a formal financial institution.”