Morm Sorady runs a café for factory workers in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. She and her husband earn a total of EUR 360 a month, and saving money is difficult. Their previous home was not safe for their six children. In 2014 the Cambodian financial institution First Finance granted the Soradys a housing loan, totalling some EUR 6,700, for buying their 48-square-metre home. They were given nine years to pay back the loan.
It is difficult for poor people to buy a home in Cambodia. First Finance is the first financial institution in the country to grant loans to poor and lower middle-class families for buying and renovating a home.
By the end of 2015, First Finance had over 1,700 families as clients; over 53 per cent were small entrepreneurs and 62 per cent were women. Nearly one in five loans was granted to people who earn less than six US dollars a day. First Finance also helps with the legal matters involved in buying a first home. The Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, Finnfund, has been supporting First Finance since 2013.
Photo: Finnfund, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta