UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme has launched a new partnership with Sahara Nepal (SACCOS) Limited, Nepal’s largest cooperative institution, to improve access to financial services for eastern Nepal’s rural poor populations. The partnership was signed by senior leadership of both institutions at an event organized in Birtamod, Jhapa, and will be followed shortly by the opening of a Sakchyam-supported Sahara branch office in Chimadi, Sunsari.
With UKaid Sakchyam’s support, Sahara will open seven new branches in Jhapa, Ilam and Sunsari districts; develop/refine innovative products like loans for alternative energy; housing construction and climate resiliency; rural MSME development; and other financing needs across the value chain. It will also offer its members savings and micro insurance products along with a comprehensive financial literacy package. Sahara also aims to get SMART Certification, adopting globally-recognized client protection principles. These interventions will improve access to finance for the poor by reaching remote and unbanked areas, providing appropriate financial products and services to the clients and supporting clients in making informed financial decisions.
Commenting on Sakchyam’s work, Mr. Ramu Paudel, Director, Nepal Rastra Bank, Biratnagar said, “I was a member of the Sakchyam Steering Committee and have observed the vigour and determination with which the programme executes its interventions. So I am confident that their partnership with Sahara will push the barriers of what such programmes hope to achieve and bring about positive change in the region.”
“Sahara Nepal has always worked to serve the poor and the disadvantaged. This support from UKaid Sakchyam adds strength to our resolve to do more to empower these populations,” said Mr. Mahendra Kumar Giri, Chief Executive Officer, Sahara Nepal.
“I am very excited to be launching one of our first interventions in the eastern region through this partnership with Sahara Nepal. They have a terrific track record and we look forward to together changing lives through improving financial inclusion in the region,” said Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader, UKaid Sakchyam.
Sakchyam is a UKaid-funded access to finance programme. It is implemented by Louis Berger for DFID Nepal, through partnerships with local and international institutions.