Pakistan’s leading digital microfinance institution, Mobilink Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to fostering gender-responsive climate finance at the Conference of the Parties (COP28) held in UAE. Representing the bank, Chief Operating Officer Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary addressed an engaging panel on the importance of gender-intentional green financing for combating climate change.

Mobilink Bank is part of the VEON group, a global digital operator that provides converged connectivity and online services across seven countries. As part of its digital operator strategy, VEON is transforming people’s lives by creating opportunities for increased digital inclusion and driving economic growth across countries home to more than 8% of the world’s population. Mobilink Bank’s policies align with VEON’s strategy, underpinned by a steadfast commitment to sustainability, diversity & inclusion, while fostering digital entrepreneurship, greater digital skills, literacy, and new job opportunities in its communities.

The event reinforced Mobilink Bank’s standing as an environmentally conscious and responsible business entity, besides firmly establishing Pakistan on the map of emergent global discourses on climate finance. The bank is among the first movers of climate finance in the country and has invested over PKR 1.6 billion in green financing, primarily focusing on loans for solar applications in agriculture to promote renewable energy.

During the panel discussion, Haaris Chaudhary emphasized Mobilink Bank’s role in fostering gender inclusivity in climate finance, primarily within the agricultural sector, by providing women with resources, knowledge, and decision-making authority under its flagship Women Inspirational Network (WIN) program. The bank has extended financial savings and insurance products to more than 140,000 women in the microfinance sector, helping them prepare for and navigate the challenges associated with climate change and economic uncertainty.

He further stated that Mobilink Bank allocated subsidized financing exceeding PKR 12 billion to over 66,000 female customers and continues to provide digital, financial, and Agritech solutions to farmers, enhancing sustainable agricultural practices.

Sharing his thoughts regarding the session, Haaris Chaudhary said, “Representing Pakistan at the COP28 was a unique privilege. As a responsible organization, we aim to drive sustainability through a firm commitment to green financing and deploying a gender-intentional lens for fostering financial inclusion and resilience for all. Recognizing Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, Mobilink Bank remains at the forefront of empowering everyone in the true sense. Women- a highly influential, yet underserved segment, are more susceptible to the drastic effects of climate change, and we aim at narrowing the gender gap to provide inclusive opportunities for them for holistic economic development.”

Haaris affirmed the bank’s commitment to expanding its green financing loan further in the coming years to accelerate the efforts for combating climate change. The strategy entails promoting clean-energy products to mitigate carbon emissions, incorporating low-carbon agriculture into lending products, providing climate-related disaster insurance for farmers, and facilitating Sharia-compliant financing for solar panels.

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