Taliea is a 32-year-old married Iraqi woman who is the mother of two children. She is a proud working woman who helps support her family with contributions from the income she generates from her bakery. In the past, Taliea had worked from home doing minor sewing and tailoring jobs. She applied for and received a previous loan from Relief International - Iraq that she used to purchase a new sewing machine and materials. She successfully repaid her first loan, and then decided to spread her wings a little more and start a bakery.
For the past two years, Taliea has been successful with her new business, making popular baked good the locals call "tiri," a large bread made of flour and water only (sometimes with a little salt), baked on a surface much like an upside-down wok. The end product is a hard, dry bread which can be kept for months. Before it's eaten it is broken into smaller pieces, moistened, and kept wrapped in a cloth to make sure it doesn't dry out.
Taliea is requesting a 1500 USD loan from RI-Iraq to improve the working space in her bakery.
About Relief International Iraq
Relief International (RI) is a non-profit non-sectarian organization with a multifaceted approach to working in post-conflict, vulnerable and transitional countries. As part of its core mission to bridge emergency relief with long-term development though sustainable, enterprise-oriented solutions, RI directs a broad microfinance portfolio in the Middle East and South Asia. In Iraq, RI microfinance has been providing access to capital for micro, small and medium enterprises since 2006. When lending through RI, there are several points to consider:
1. RI-Iraq offers loans that are customized for borrowers in Iraq, a predominantly Muslim country. A key principle of Islam is the prohibition of charging interest on a loan. This prohibition is based on the belief that money is only a medium of exchange and has no value in itself. In order to offer loans in a manner consistent with borrowers' values, RI-Iraq charges 0% interest on this loan. However, RI-Iraq does charge a servicing fee to cover its costs. The loan amount you see listed on Kiva includes both the principal loan and the loan servicing fees. As with all Kiva loans, you should expect to have your funds returned to you according to this loan’s repayment schedule. For more information on lending in the Muslim world, please click here.
2. Because of on-going security concerns, due diligence on RI-Iraq was conducted remotely, rather than in-person as is typical with most Kiva Field Partners. RI-Iraq does, however, meet all of the other minimum criteria required by Kiva's full due diligence.
3. One of the challenges of lending to entrepreneurs in Iraq is the increased chance of difficulty transferring funds between the United States, where Kiva is based, and Iraq. While Kiva has been able to send and receive funds to and from Iraq in the past, there is a chance that we may encounter problems doing so in the future. This could result in difficulty repaying loan funds to lenders, even if individual borrowers have paid back their loans. As a lender to borrowers in Iraq, you would be taking on this additional risk.