Program to Increase Sustainable Microfinance

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund launched the IFAD funded Program to Increase Sustainable Microfinance (PRISM) in June 2008. This program comprised of four interlinked components of Credit Enhancement Facility, Equity Fund, Technical Assistance & Institutional Strengthening and Knowledge Management & Policy Dialogue. The goal of this programme was poverty reduction, promotion of economic growth and to improve the livelihoods of rural households with particular focus on rural poor and women. These goals were achieved through the provision of equity injections, cash collaterals, letters of credit and guarantees provided by the PPAF to ensure on-lending by commercial organizations to PPAF's partner organizations. Under PRISM, the ratio of women borrowers, increased to 73% as compared to the ratio of 50% set as a target under the programme. Lending facility was extended to 183,239 beneficiaries, consisting of 137,751 women and 45,488 men (and indirectly benefiting as estimated 1 million persons). PRISM also won the prestigious International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gender Award in Asia and the Pacific Region for year 2014 PPAF's Programme for in recognition of the best performance in addressing gender inequalities, empowering women and providing them visibility and recognition throughout IFAD and across its network of partners.