Promoting financial inclusion in Iraq

Project description

Title: Financial Inclusion for Economic Restart and Integration in Iraq
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Cofinanced by: European Union (EU)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning (MoP)
Overall term: 2021 to 2025


The banking system in Iraq is highly concentrated and dominated by seven state-owned banks accounting for about 80 per cent of the banking-system assets. Despite that, only 23 per cent of the adult population have an account at a formal financial institution.

Additionally, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) lack access to financial services such as bank lending (less than 5 per cent). Thus, Iraq has a significant opportunity to foster economic growth and social development by promoting financial inclusion. This would allow individuals and businesses to access useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs (transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance) and delivered responsibly and sustainably.


The project is improving access to inclusive financial services for vulnerable target groups.


The project achieves its objectives by applying a comprehensive approach that focuses on:

  1. Developing inclusive financial services by supporting their development or adaptation. In addition, advice and training is available for financial or payment providers on pro-poor, inclusive product development and marketing to develop new or adapt existing financial services
  2. Supporting the implementation of training programmes tailored to the needs of specific target groups on financial literacy, inclusive financial services and financing renewable energies.
  3. Enhancing framework conditions by consolidating the Central Bank of Iraq's (CBI) ability to promote and regulate inclusive financial services.
  4. Improving the institutional conditions for women-led businesses to gain access to financial services by advising the CBI on regulation changes and developing joint initiatives.

Last update: October 2022

Additional information