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Approved to post Kiva loans from: Israel
Microfy is a not-for-profit organization in Israel that assists African asylum seekers and refugees living in Israel. The organization supports asylum seekers in entrepreneurship and business development.
Most of the refugees Microfy assists are from Sudan and Eritrea and faced religious and political persecution in their home countries. Disappearances of citizens and use of torture by the government was a common reality for many of these individuals. Others are survivors of the violent conflict in the Darfur region, where they faced ongoing violence and attacks by the government and armed militia groups.
Microfy works in many grey areas due to the legal status of asylum seekers in Israel. One risk lenders should be aware of is the risk of detention of asylum seekers by Israeli authorities.
A unique lending approach:
Microfy focuses its work in south Tel Aviv, where around 40,000 asylum seekers have settled. Due to their complicated legal status inside of Israel, asylum seekers cannot receive formal credit from banks or other Israeli microfinance institutions, as these organizations only loan to Israeli citizens.
To address the difficult circumstances asylum seekers face, Microfy offers business training, technical assistance/support, financial resources and small business start-up loans.
Because few organizations are willing to provide funding for loans to African asylum seekers, Microfy’s portfolio and growth has remained small. Kiva funding will enable Microfy to increase the number of asylum seekers they serve, as demand for loans far exceeds their capacity.