Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited (MMBL) and International Consulting Associates (Pvt) Ltd. (iConsult) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to broaden the horizon of financial inclusion for the residents of South Waziristan, North Waziristan, and Khyber Districts. The strategic partnership endeavors to bolster the financial well-being of individuals and communities living in these regions by augmenting their access to a diverse range of financial services. This collective initiative is part of the USAID-funded FATA Economic Revitalization Programme (FERP), facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which strives to promote economic growth in Merged Areas by creating a favorable environment for small businesses, strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem and enhancing the private sector’s ability to drive inclusive growth. MMBL is part of the VEON group, a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and online services across seven countries. As part of its digital operator strategy, VEON is transforming people’s lives by creating opportunities for increased digital inclusion and by driving economic growth across countries that are home to more than 8% of the world’s population. Under the agreement, MMBL and iConsult are dedicated to advancing both financial inclusion and gender equality through a two-pronged approach. While iConsult will focus on mobilizing and facilitating individuals to open bank accounts and access financial services, MMBL will offer women opportunities to enhance their skill sets, gain hands-on experience and improve their financial literacy through tailored upskilling programs. In pursuit of their shared objective of enhancing financial literacy in the region, MMBL and iConsult will also utilize the State Bank of Pakistan’s approved curriculums, with an emphasis on budgeting, saving, investing, and credit management. The training programs will cater to low-income families, students, women, and unbanked Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), empowering them with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed financial decisions. Sharing her thoughts at the signing ceremony Najia Naqavi, Chief Service Quality MMBL said, “The social complexities surrounding financial independence and facilitation are not overlooked but duly considered by our teams, helping us curate meaningful and customer-centric solutions for our ever-growing customer base. This collaboration would facilitate increased access to financial services for all, enabling individuals to grow their businesses, create jobs and contribute to positive change in their communities.” Kashif Maqbool Sehgal, Regional Head KP iConsult said, “We are proud to collaborate with Mobilink Microfinance Bank to enhance financial well-being in merged areas. We understand the challenges that come with limited financial services access, and we are committed to providing solutions that support individuals and communities in these regions.” MMBL remains committed to advancing financial inclusion in Pakistan through the use of innovative technologies and strategic partnerships. The Bank firmly believes in collaborating with organizations that share its vision of empowering women and MSMEs to create a more inclusive society. By continuing to foster these partnerships, the Bank is confident in its ability to drive positive social and economic change.