Citi Philippines has successfully closed and funded a $20 million loan (equivalent to over Php1 billion pesos) for ASA Philippines Foundation which will enable ASA to provide financial assistance to low-income women for entrepreneurial ventures in the Philippines. This loan aims to support nearly 70,000 women entrepreneurs in the Philippines.
ASA Philippines Foundation serves low-income women entrepreneurs and improves their livelihoods through microfinance and other social services. The non-profit, non-stock financial institution serves over 2 million women entrepreneurs through more than 1,600 branches across 82 provinces in the Philippines.
The Foundation also provides an array of services to their clients including burial assistance, college/university scholarship programs, disaster relief assistance and rehabilitation, business development training and marketing support, medical missions, child feeding and out of school youth training for the families of their beneficiaries.
The financing for this loan was structured under the Global Inclusive Finance Framework risk-sharing facility with the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
"We are committed to assist financially underserved women microentrepreneurs in the Philippines. We have long been champions of financial inclusion and this transaction is aligned with Citi Social Finance's mandate to expand access to jobs, basic infrastructure and basic services among low-income communities in emerging markets," said Citi Philippines Corporate Bank Head Fernando Fleury.
The transaction contributes to Citi's $1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030, supporting its economic inclusion criteria which aims to improve access to credit and financial services among the vulnerable or underserved communities, including micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) financing. Citi has also committed to investing in opportunities for 15 million households, including 10 million women by 2025.
ASA Philippines President and CEO Kamrul Tarafder expressed his gratitude for the incredible partnership between the two institutions towards financial inclusion and support for the Philippines' marginalized sector. He said, "With the help of this funding, we will be able to achieve the next milestone of 2.5 million active borrowers. By providing MalASAkit (interest-free) financing, this funding will allow us to assist clients' businesses that were impacted by the pandemic and natural disasters. The management and board of ASA Philippines would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Citibank for providing this loan."
Through this collaboration, Citi and ASA Philippines Foundation are off to a strong start to support thousands of women microentrepreneurs in the Philippines towards a more stable economic future.
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