In a program Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme inaugurated its first satellite office, in Amargadhi of Dadeldhura district. Present at the event were Ashufta Alam, Team Leader, Economic Development Team, DFID Nepal, Baljit Vohra, Team Leader, Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme, Prakash Saud, President, Dadeldhura Chamber of Commerce, Tara Prasad Joshi, Acting Local Development Officer, Dilaram Subedi, Regional Director and Nepal Rastra Bank's Dhangadhi, members of the Sakchyam team.
In his opening address, Vohra said, “we are pleased to launch Sakchyam’s Dadeldhura office, where we will continue our work in introducing innovative products and services to improve access to finance in the region. It is a challenging area to work in, which is precisely why we have decided to set up base here to create lasting and transformative impact with our work.”
According to a press release issued by Sakchyam, the primary areas of focus for Sakchyam’s Dadeldhura office will be – working with and supporting wholesale lending for cooperatives in the area facilitating financing in different stages of value chain; and increasing the outreach of banks and financing institutions in the region. The reasoning behind supporting wholesale lending is that the progress of the area’s cooperatives in increasing their operations has been checked by a lack of access to funds. The financing for value chains will be at input as well as output levels; in the process Sakchyam may look at opportunities to facilitate value chain infrastructure such as cold storage too. And to increase the outreach of financial services in the area, Sakchyam will provide support for the establishment of physical as well as branchless banking touch points.
The DFID Nepal team was briefed on the regional economy, and the specific challenges faced by Dadeldhura, before the inauguration event. Addressing an audience of beneficiaries, many of them representing women’s groups, Sakchyam partners and local media, Alam said, “Through Sakchyam, DFID Nepal’s focus is on supporting partners reach remote areas where with various social barriers for women, girls and people from disadvantage groups. We are hopeful that the new products and partnerships put together by Sakchyam for this region will be the beginning of a new era of several such innovations here.”
Sakchyam is an Access to Finance for the Poor Programme funded with UK aid from the British Government, and implemented by Louis Berger in collaboration with local and international institutions.