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Iraq Access to Credit Services Initiative (ACSI)
Published 10/18/2013 by Global Communities
The Access to Credit Services Initiative (ACSI), now operating as CHF Vitas Iraq, was established as a credit program in 2003 following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, as a major project targeting the economic reconstruction and stabilization of Iraq. Since then, CHF Vitas Iraq has had the privilege of serving the communities of Iraq every day, by offering financial services to families and the owners of micro and small businesses, and by supporting homeowners in home improvement and restoration.
Driven by a social mission, Vitas Iraq has become deeply involved in community engagement work across Iraq. Providing humanitarian aid to families in need, helping people with disabilities to start their own, income-generating businesses, empowering orphans and the deaf and mute in their vocational studies, and bringing hope for a brighter future.
Vitas Iraq practices its mission and offers its services through a network of 14 branches strategically located across Iraq—including the cities of Baghdad, Karbala, Najaf and Basra—and through a professional team of more than 465 employees that live the company’s commitments daily.
Since its inception, CHF Vitas Iraq has:
Become the largest microfinance institution in Iraq with the largest market share
Disbursed more than $1 billion in loan capital
Grown an outstanding portfolio of more than $74 million (as of August 2017)
Maintained a 98% on-time repayment record
Success Story: Meet Laqaa Abdul Mohsen
Since her childhood, Laqaa has dreamed of being a hairdresser. Through her partnership with CHF Vitas Iraq, Laqaa has defied the reality of her often-turbulent environment to finally achieve her dream. Her hometown is about 100 miles south of Baghdad, in Najaf, Iraq, which was a frequent battle ground in the years following the fall of Saddam Hussein. For Laqaa, this meant developing her business slowly but surely, over a series of seven loans from CHF Vitas, which helped her decorate her shop, buy new beauty products and cosmetics, and eventually expand her shop to a second floor, to accommodate her growing ranks of loyal customers. Today, she has the most popular hair salon in Najaf, and is thrilled by the opportunities that her relationship with Global Communities has brought her. She says that her success has grown in small steps, but that she will stay with Vitas Iraq as long as it takes to achieve every part of her dreams.