UNDP in Kazakhstan launches second phase of Eco-Damu Loan Programme

By bne IntelIiNews January 21, 2021

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan has launched the second phase of the Eco-Damu Loan Programme for the period of 2020-2024. The launch was jointly conducted with the Forestry and Wildlife Committee of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan and the Fund of Financial Support for Agriculture, the UNDP in Kazakhstan said on January 20.

The programme is designed for rural dwellers of Kazakhstan who live near specially protected natural areas to help them commence or further develop businesses that contribute to the sustainable preservation of ecosystems. Included are businesses such as those in ecotourism, hunting and pasture farming, forestry, fishing, rabbit breeding, poultry farming and beekeeping. Qualified rural entrepreneurs will be able to receive 4.5-year loans at a 6% interest rate per annum - the effective interest rate will not exceed 6.7% per annum.

The second phase of the Eco-Damu Programme has a total budget of Kazakhstani tenge (KZT) 275.3mn (€542,295) and covers 12 regions, 770 rural settlements and 28 specially protected natural areas of Kazakhstan.

“The Eco-Damu Program has already proven its effectiveness during the first phase of its implementation, granting loans to people residing in rural areas of Kazakhstan for developing animal husbandry, beekeeping, crop production, tourism business and such. We are confident that this initiative is a great opportunity to support local development, generate new jobs, while safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems of the country,” said Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.

The programme is the fourth joint initiative of UNDP and the Fund of Financial Support for Agriculture. “Programs such as the Eco-Damu Program enable rural residents to launch and develop micro-businesses and create jobs, while protecting the environment,” said Zhandar Omarov, chairman of the board of the fund.

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