Knowledge Note

A well-functioning financial sector is critical for efficient resource allocation leading to increased productivity, greater investment, and higher overall levels of economic growth. This is particularly critical in Iraq, where years of political instability and violence have impeded the development of a robust private sector, decimated infrastructure and institutions, and caused serious employment challenges. The proportion of individuals with access to formal financial services including credit, savings, and insurance services is critical for improving household welfare by spurring economic activity and helping manage economic shocks. Financial inclusion positively impacts on macroeconomic stability. The extent of financial intermediation causally impacts growth, mostly through lower transaction costs and better distribution of capital and risk across the economy. Microfinance has in recent years become an important mechanism to promote financial inclusion and economic development in Iraq. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have emerged as credible sources of financing for low income households and microenterprises, both underserved by conventional banks.

About the Presenters

Teymour Abdel Aziz

Peter McConaghy