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Newsletter January- March 2019

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 I. The internal activities carried out by the SMED Unit

 

1- Funding activities

 As a result of the increasing demand for financial services by owners of small and micro projects, and in order to ensure the continuity of funding activities, during the first quarter SMED has funded programs and institutions with an amount of YR 2.72 billions in loans. The MFIs funded have included Azal MF Program, the National MF Foundation, and Namaa MF Foundation.

 

2- Grant Activities

 As for grants, during the quarter the unit has granted the Yemen Microfinance Network (YMN) and the Small and Micro Enterprises Development Agency a total amount of USD 2.7 millions, in order to finance the training and consulting activities they carry out. It is worth noting that the total number of active clients in MFIs has reached 85,219 active clients by the end of March 2019, while the total active loan portfolios with these entities has reached about YR 14.664 billions.

 

3- Supporting war-affected clients (Phase 2)

 In the first quarter of 2019, clients were compensated for a total amount of USD 6,000. In addition, the debts of 848 insolvent clients were canceled, amounting to USD 230,000. The cumulative number of beneficiaries from the project has reached 3,840, with compensation totaling USD 1.7 million as of the end of the first quarter of 2019. The project aims at compensating 4,000 microfinance clients affected by the War and enabling them to restore their lost or affected activities.

 

3- Supporting the expansion of financial and non-financial services in the areas of the Integrated Intervention Project

 The number of groups formed during the quarter has reached 83 groups, comprising at least 1,900 members among men and women, comprising five separate directorates which represent the project's work areas. Also, several training activities have taken place during the quarter, in which at least 1,800 members have been trained in the principles of savings groups. About 400 members have been trained in the field of bookkeeping of operations, group activities, as well as administrative and organizational skills.

 

4- SFD Partners Workshop

 On February 18th-19th, a workshop was held to enhance partnership and communication between all players in the MF sector in Yemen. The workshop was attended by about 30 representatives from various MFIs operating in the country, in addition to other related parties such as the Small and Micro Enterprise Development Agency (SMEPS), the Yemen Microfinance Network (YMN), and the Yemen Loan Guarantee program (YLG). Discussions dealt with the challenges, difficulties and opportunities facing the MF sector in light of the current situation in the country. These problems and future plans for the sector were discussed with a view to enhancing cooperation between all participating entities.

 

5- Internal audit and auditing activities

 In the period from Feb. 24th-Mar. 10th, field approvals were carried out on 1,534 clients of Al-Ittihad in the governorates of Abyan, Aden and Lahj. During the same period, field validations were made on 58 clients at the branch of the National MF Foundation (NMF) in Aden. Likewise, an audit was carried on the accounts, records and procedures of NMF at its headquarters in Sana'a.

 

6- Development of automated and software systems

 6.1 Unit Website

 Throughout the quarter, work has continued on developing the SMED website. Work has included completing the data entry of programs and institutions, and showing the results in their final form after ensuring they were correct. This followed work in the previous quarter in designing all the new templates in the reports and graphic charts.

 

6.2 A mobile application for studying agricultural finance

 Throughout the quarter, work has continued on developing the SMED website. Work has included completing the data entry of programs and institutions, and showing the results in their final form after ensuring they were correct. This followed work in the previous quarter in designing all the new templates in the reports and graphic charts.

 

6.3 The Credit Bureau

The Unit's IT team has worked during the first quarter to develop the site's updated mechanism so that it has became possible for MFI to update the database directly and on a daily basis.

 

6.4 Introduce geographic mapping technology for customers concentration

The Unit's IT team has worked during the first quarter to develop the site's updated mechanism so that it has became possible for MFI to update the database directly and on a daily basis.

 

6.5 The human resources, loan tracking, and accounting computerized systems

 During the quarter, routine technical support was provided to MFIs in solving technical issues and provide routine technical assistance in operating the three systems.

 

6.6 The MF Programs and Institutions Assessment Tool

A team from the unit has evaluated the work of Al-Ittihad MF Program in Abyan through the application of this tool, which was designed using Excel and with the technical assistance from a German consulting firm. The tool allows for a comprehensive evaluation of programs, institutions and banks operating in the sector of small and microfinance in accordance with the mechanism of rating agencies.

 

II. The Yemen Loan Guarantee Program (YLG)

During the first quarter, the program has continued its activity as a guarantor towards those clients who need guarantees to obtain suitable financing from MFIs. Since the beginning of 2019, the program has issued 71 guarantees to SMEs who took loans for a total in excess of YR 142.2 millions, while the value of the guarantees issued was estimated at YR 93.4 millions. Other activities have included attending several workshops and training courses, and conducting a training workshop for Al-Amal MF Bank attended by some of its finance specialists and branch managers to explain the mechanism of work on the feasibility study of agricultural loans.

 

III. The Yemen Microfinance Network

In an effort to enhance its supportive, positive and effective role in advancing the microfinance industry in the country, YMN has implemented during the first quarter of 2019 several activities, the most important of which were:

 

1- Training course for trainers

During the period Feb. 11th-14th, a training course lasting 4 days was held for trainers from MFIs on the standards of the International Finance Agency (IFC) in training trainers and exchanging experiences among them.

 

2- Training course for consultants

 YMN organized a training course between Feb. 18th and 21st, lasting 4 days, with the participation of a number of employees in the MF sector. The aim was to enable participants to develop their capabilities in providing consultancy services, based on the experiences they have gained through their work in the MF (each in his field of work).

 

3- A panel discussion on ways to support the sector of female MF entrepreneurs

 Within the project of "Women Economic Empowerment" being implemented by CARE in cooperation with the Foundation for All Girls, YMN hosted on Feb 28th this specific panel discussion. The panel discussed the role of these bodies in supporting women's economic empowerment, the nature of women's MF products, as well as the most important challenges facing female entrepreneurs, and how to address them. The session was organized by the network over the period Mar. 9th-14th. Working groups were formed, and each of whom prepared an integrated project proposal. The proposals were presented in the last day, and evaluated and discussed to improve and correct them.

 

4- Course for preparing project proposals to donors

 The session was organized by the network over the period Mar. 9th-14th. Working groups were formed, and each of whom prepared an integrated project proposal. The proposals were presented in the last day, and evaluated and discussed to improve and correct them.

 

5- Financial analysis course

The training course lasted over the period Mar. 23rd-27th, and was attended several by representatives from MFIs. The course aimed at forming relevant staff in the MF sector among accountants and financial managers on financial analysis of MFI.

 

7- Training course in Product development

 

This training course, which lasted from Mar. 25th to Mar. 29th, was targeted at middle managers interested in how to develop financial products for MFIs. The course enabled the participants on how to study and implement plans for developing financial products, and know the most important concepts and methods and their stages in product design.

 

8- Financial saving workshop for youth

As part of the Global Money Week 2019 event, YMN organized on Mar. 28th a workshop on financial savings for young people between the ages of 18 and 28. The workshop, which was attended by 45 young men and women, aimed at providing the participants with skills, knowledge and concepts in financial savings. This, in turn, which would help them establish their own projects or obtain employment in various fields.

 

Small and Micro Enterprise Development Unit

Republic of Yemen

Social Fund for Development

Sixty street,Faj attan, Sana'a,Yemen

Tel :967-1-449669

Fax : 967-1-499670

 

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