AMK Microfinance receives Truelift Leader Milestone
Truelift has recognized the pro-poor performance of AMK Microfinance Institution Plc., partner of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation in Cambodia, at the Leader Milestone. This brings to 33 the number of financial service providers recognised along the Truelift Pro-Poor Pathway and to seven the number recognised at the Leader Milestone, the most advanced of the four Milestones. What unites all the recognised institutions is their commitment to serving the needs of people living in poverty. Their degree of adherence to the three Pro-Poor Principles shows how far they have progressed along the pathway toward fully pro-poor management of their institutions.
AMK started as a program of Concern Worldwide in the 1990s and became a full microfinance institution in 2004. The institution provides group (village bank) and individual loans, deposit services, money transfers, health micro-insurance, payment and payroll services, foreign exchange, and international remittance services, employing over 2,700 staff serving in 150 offices and working with more than 3,700 independent agents nationwide. The total number of clients exceeds 840,000 with a loan portfolio of over US$ 247 million and deposits of more than US$ 146 million. AMK is therefore one of the leading microfinance institutions in Cambodia.
For more than 15 years, AMK has continuously developed and grown by focusing on the development of its financial products and services and investing in new technologies in order to meet customer demand. At the same time, AMK has remained true to its social objectives, especially poverty alleviation, as demonstrated by the results of the Truelift assessment conducted in November 2018 by M-CRIL. Through delivery of appropriate and viable microfinance services over the past 15 years, AMK has helped clients and their families, especially those living in remote areas, achieve significant positive changes.
The Foundation is making new investments in Asia
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has made new investments in its Asian partners with five loans granted in Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
It has thus granted a €2.1 million loan to KOMIDA, a historical partner of the Foundation which is active in Indonesia exclusively among women. KOMIDA is a microfinance NGO which started to provide microloans in 2005 to the population hit hard by the tsunami in Banda Aceh province. The institution was transformed into a savings and loan cooperative in 2008 and now has more than 545,000 clients.
The Foundation has moreover granted a €1.1 million loan to Proximity in Myanmar. Proximity Finance is a microfinance programme developed by Proximity Designs intended to eradicate extreme poverty in the country by treating the poor as clients and by proposing innovative and affordable technologies and services to the families it finances and which earn their living by cultivating small plots of land. The institution has nearly 100,000 clients, 66% of whom are women.
In Sri Lanka, the Foundation granted a new €347,000 loan to Berendina, a microfinance institution dedicated to reducing poverty and improving the living conditions of the poorest groups in the country. Berendina today has 99,000 clients, 87% of whom are women. All its clients are in rural areas.
Finally, in Cambodia, the Foundation has granted two loans to Ankor Mikroheranhvatho (Kampuchea) Co. Ltd (AMK) and to Chamroeun of €2.5 million and €973,000 respectively. AMK provides loans mainly through village banking, giving priority to poor women in rural areas, and to farming activities. Since 2010, the institution has also been authorized to collect savings. It has nearly 325,000 clients at this time, 93% of whom are in rural areas, and 81% women. For its part, Chamroeun, which has 26,300 clients, is a microfinance institution that puts social purpose at the heart of its economic model. It provides financial services to the poorest segments of the population along with a range of training and support services.
At the end of December 2018, the Asia region, where the Foundation has 14 partners, accounted for 25% of all the commitments and 17.6% of new loans provided in the course of the period.