Project Factsheet
United Nations Fund Darfur
Start Date *: 17 Dec 2015
Economic Recovery
End Date*: 30 Jun 2018
Country: Sudan Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNDP - UNDP(MDTF/PUNO only).

Microfinance for Young and Poor Producers in Rural Areas in Darfur

Duration: 18 months

Lead Agency: UNDP

Pillar 3: Economic Recovery

Project Objectives

  • Increased access and utilization of IDPs, Returnees, vulnerable groups and poor producers, including Youth and Women to Microfinance financial and non-financial services to largely stimulate markets and sustain self-reliant source of income to reduce poverty in the five States of Darfur

 Introduction & Problem Statement:

Access to finance and financial services providers in Darfur is very limited. There is only one financial services outlet per 90,000 individuals in Darfur compared to the national average of below 1:15,000.

The banking sector in Darfur is composed of three branches of the Central Bank, and 36 branches of commercial banks. The major drawbacks of the sector are:

  • Overall weak coverage of banks in Darfur and their concentration in the capitals of the states, without any outreach in other urban areas, let alone rural areas;
  • Small number of clients, with only 15,704 clients, which is far below the potential of 75,000;
  • Meagre resources invested in Microfinance sector;
  • Lack of diversity and opening of new economic opportunities, since about 60% of the microfinancing is directed to agriculture; and
  • Clients’ prequalification procedures and collateral requirements are traditional and can only be fulfilled by a few individuals. As a result, services offered by banks/ financial providers are not suitable for the local populations.

The demand for Microfinance in Darfur is huge, being the region with the highest incidences of poverty and with communities in great need for restoration of their livelihoods and economic activities. Microfinance is viewed as one of the mechanisms for alleviating poverty and economically empowers communities. Out of the 8 million population in the region, about 50% or 4 million are considered as the economically active population as defined by the Central Bureau of Statistics (age 16-64) constituting the total market clients for all financial services. The number of potential Microfinance clients in the region stands at 2,339,000 around 27% of the population of Darfur region. One of the commitments of the DDPD is to establish a Microfinance system in Darfur that will provide the required funding for income generating activities to individuals and groups with non-traditional collateral. It should provide access to financing, training and skills enhancement to the poor and war-affected population in Darfur, such as: IDPs, returnees, women (especially widows and de facto Female/headed households) and poor small producers. To this end, the DRA is establishing a Microfinance Apex along with its five branches located in the capitals of the states in the region with budget allocation of approximately 600 million SDG (equivalent to 100 million US dollars) with an initial capital of 120 million SDG. In December 2013, the DRA with the assistance of the Government of Sudan produced the Microfinance Apex Business Plan and a separate staffing schedule; and thereafter appointed the Apex Director in 2014.


The Project aims to increase effective and affordable access to Microfinance and financial services mainly for poor producers including Farmers, Pastoralists, IDPs, Returnees, Youth, People with Disabilities and Women IDPs, Returnees, and vulnerable groups to have sustainable productive source of income. This will be done through:

  • Supporting 40 Microfinance innovative community based model using technological products (‘Mobile Money for the Poor’ model)
  • Conducting business training/ support and public awareness on Microfinance financial and cliental services and products
  • Supporting 20 Microfinance providers capacities to provide financial and technical support to poor producers
  • Providing assistance to the establishment of Microfinance Apex, Regional Microfinance Providers Network and information hub

Implementing Partners:

The Project will be implemented by UNDP in close coordination and partnership with the DRA, States Ministries and Microfinance providers in the 5 Darfur States, private sector and NGOs.

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Sudan or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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