I would like to welcome you to the National Microfinance Foundation (NMF), the best Microfinance Institution (MFI) in Yemen J. Even though we are used to knocking on client doors to provide effective and efficient financial services, I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit us on our website. This page is always visited by other stakeholders such as donors, investors, media, governmental organizations, research centers and others.
Please don’t hesitate to reach to me, I may provide you with tailored information. Your feedback is very important to improve our products and services and help us achieve your objectives in helping Yemeni poor with financial inclusion. I would like to share here with you about the current state of NMF, where we are, and what we are planning to do.
NMF, like many other microfinance institutions, has suffered much due to the recent conflicts in Yemen. The state of war that Yemen is going through has changed Yemen during the past few years. Much of the macro environment in an unfavorable condition. However, we survived the challenges and we have adapted to the changes. We currently have survival plans to surpass challenges.
Reading UN reports about Yemen, one finds the urgent needs for humanitarian aid as people are starving to death. Looking at livelihood opportunities, one finds the value of the currency has depreciated, internally displaced people continue to increase, a phenomena of returnees is happening, unemployment reached over 80%, poverty is spread to over 80% of the population, epidemics are spreading, and the war continues to make the environment challenging. After all, people have to survive and adapt, and here comes our role to assist in providing access to capital and leverage for resilience.
For NMF, as an MFI that has been initially set up to provide financial services to the poor, the environment, theoretically, is a great opportunity for growth as more people are going to poverty. Therefore, a strategy has been put in place to target the newcomers. People in Yemen has lost their jobs due to downsizing; and the government stopped paying its employees; thus, many have decided to go back to their villages to continue what their grandparents used to do. Farmers are now among our increasing segment in all over our 18 branches all over Yemen.
Starting up a business has been among the best alternatives to many individuals who lost their jobs. These new businesses started to need to grow and require capital. More people are accepting lower wages, working harder, and volunteering for food. This provided incentives for local businesses to produce highly demanded goods. The currency devaluation and increased importation cost have increased demand for local products and services. After all, people have to eat and continue their lives. These factors have helped MFIs continue their services.
At NMF, we currently manage a portfolio of over 1.2 billion YR through over 60 credit officers operating from 18 branches in Aden, Dhalee, Dhamar, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Ibb, Lahj, Mahweet, Sanaa, and Taiz. While our portfolio at risk reached some 40% during the crisis, our latest loans maintain the industry average of less than the 3%.
Thanks to Social Fund for Development among others, NMF has been able to attain much of the international community’s support to Yemen. The support received provided NMF the financial and capacity building support to survive the current crisis.
A grant from KfW has supported NMF to build its 2018-2020 strategy that helped NMF learn from the best practices and initiate plans based on the current market situation. The 2018 strategy is focused on rural development and adaptive strategies. Innovating new products and services is an important part of our current strategy to increase self-reliance and resilience among micro, small, and medium enterprises all over Yemen.
Our new strategy has been aligned with the current rush of the international community to help Yemen’s current crisis. Much of what we do is one way or the other is leveraging an INGO working in Yemen. The ultimate goal is to help our clients access financial services that can improve their livelihood opportunities during wartime and early recovery.
Please feel free to reach out to me with your ideas, comments, and opportunities.