ISLAMABAD - Khushhali Bank Limited (KBL) President Ghalib Nishtar said that bank has so far provided around Rs.6 billion soft-term loans to some half a million people with the aim to economic empowerment of those people who could not avail such a facility.He said that through 110 branches operating across the country, the bank has proactively used micro-finance as a tool to mitigate poverty and bring about economic change in the lives of those availing this facility.  Ghalib Nishtar said KBL has proactively encouraged formation of alliances with NGOs and has recognised their role in poverty reduction. It benefits at the hands of an endowment fund, coined as MSDF, established by the govt under an ADB loan by entailing NGOs for social projects. This unique arrangement allows KBL to disseminate specialised social services through the alliances with NGOs while it delivers financial services to market segments of a similar nature.He said ongoing projects are mainly focusing on less developed areas like South Punjab, Interior Sindh and Balochistan. About 26 per cent of their customers are women who work at home or are attached with small industries, he added. He further informed that underserved areas and vulnerable communities are the focus for the Bank.The KBL president said micro-finance is not a silver bullet and it cannot make an end to poverty by itself but it is an important part of the solution. Micro-finance provides a stable and sustainable source of income that enables clients to climb steadily out of poverty while providing better living conditions and opportunities for the families. He further said that KBL is currently the largest micro-finance bank in terms of the number of active borrowers as well as the gross loan portfolio and unlike other loan programmes, clients are not required to provide collateral to receive loans so this allows people who would not qualify for loans at traditional financial institutions to receive credit.