Citibank Commits $17.9 Million To South Asian Flood Relief

Aug 2007
Dhaka, Bangladesh, August, 29 2007 - The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), the world's largest non-governmental organization (NGO), has entered into a backstopped facility with Citibank, N.A. Bangladesh and its partner banks to avail financing for rural development specially supporting its post-flood rehabilitation programs.

The $17.9 million USD (1.23 billion BDT) backstopped facility, coordinated by Citibank, is the first such facility ever done for a micro-finance institution globally.

"This solution underlines Citi's commitment towards supporting the cause of micro-finance globally and the post-flood rehabilitation program in Bangladesh, and it also marks BRAC's openness towards innovative financial solutions to channel the benefits of modern finance to its micro-borrowers", BRAC Chairman Fazle Hasan Abed said.

Citibank directly provided $10.33 million (710 million), and the local banks Eastern Bank Limited, The City Bank Limited, Trust Bank Limited and United Commercial Bank Limited have jointly extended the remaining $7.56 million (520 million) whereby Citibank is the backstop provider.

"We will expand and broaden access to finance for micro-finance institutions such as BRAC not all on our own, but through alliance partners, including other commercial banks, investors and large commercial networks working to provide services to the majority in our communities," Citigroup CEO for South Asia Sanjay Nayar said.

Diagnosing poverty in human terms and recognizing its multidimensional nature, the BRAC takes holistic approach in striving to fulfill its twin objectives of poverty alleviation and the empowerment of the poor. This approach combines economic development and livelihood generation enterprises with health, education and other social programs.

The BRAC's outreach covers all 64 districts of the country, and it has been called upon to assist a number of countries, including Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Source : AHN

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