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JICA Approves Loan for Women’s Financial Inclusion in India

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a 50 million dollar (about Rs 368 crore) loan agreement with Northern Arc Capital (NAC), an Indian financial institution, to fund non-bank financial entities that provide financial services to women.

The loan will be provided through co-financing with the United States International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) based on the Facility for Accelerating Financial Inclusion in Asia (FAIA) announced on March 27, 2020.

Keiichiro Nakazawa, Senior Vice President of JICA, said NAC is one of the unique and important financial institutions to support funding of Indian NBFC sector, which is a key to promote financial inclusion in India.

“We expect more Indian women to have accesses to financial service through the partnership with NAC. Also, we are delighted that this loan is the first co-financing with USDFC in India,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

In the Gender Gap Index, which measures gender inequalities, India is ranked 112th out of 153 countries (Global Gender Gap Report 2020), representing a country with a huge gender imbalance.

In particular, opportunities for women to participate in economic activities are limited. It is estimated that over 40 per cent of the country’s female population, or about 280 million women, have no access to financial services.

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