World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


New UNDP/ UNCDF facility offers US$ five million in grants

PRESS RELEASE

UN invites private sector to help the Pacific’s unbanked access financial services

New UNDP/ UNCDF facility offers US$ five million in grants

31 August, Apia, Samoa – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) today launched a new funding facility, inviting financial service providers to develop new ways of enabling low-income and rural Pacific Islanders to access affordable savings, insurance, credit and other financial services.

Implemented through the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), the UNDP/ UNCDF Financial Inclusion Support Facility is designed to disburse grants to financial service providers—including those from the private sector such as banks, insurance companies and mobile network operators. The facility, totaling US$ five million, was created with funding from Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.

“With access to financial services, poor people can start small businesses, insure against losses, and save in case of illness or disaster,” UNDP Administrator and UNCDF Managing Director, Helen Clark, said at a press briefing in Apia, earlier today. “It is now a well-established fact that giving low-income households access to formal financial services can help reduce poverty and inequality.”

Yet, in many Pacific countries today, less than 10 percent of adults are thought to have access to basic financial services. Challenging geography, poor infrastructure and the high costs associated with delivering services to sparse populations are barriers in a region that spans a third of the earth’s surface. New technology is creating opportunities to transform the financial services industry in the Pacific.

The new Facility will also encourage financial service providers to develop products that particularly benefit rural and low-income women across the Pacific. Evidence suggests that when women are provided with access to finance, the whole household benefits, not just the individual client.

The announcement about the new Facility comes a day ahead of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference, which will be held in Apia from 1 to 4 September.

“The theme of this year's conference is partnerships, and this new facility is a partnership in the truest sense, bringing together the private and public sectors. Being cut out of banks and banking systems is holding people back in the Pacific and both the United Nations and the European Union are determined to help overcome these failings," said Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development.

“The Central Bank of Samoa’s vision for an inclusive financial system in Samoa is for a sound financial system that best serves all members of society in their pursuit of prosperity,” said Maiava Atalina Emma Ainuu-Enari, Governor of the

Central Bank of Samoa. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders, including those in the private sector, to achieve that vision,” the Governor said.

PFIP aims to add one million Pacific Islanders to the formal financial sector by 2019 by spearheading policy and regulatory initiatives, facilitating access to appropriate financial services and delivery channels and by strengthening financial competencies and consumer empowerment. A key component of this programme’s second phase (2014-2018) will be the roll out of a new Financial Inclusion Support Facility.

PFIP operates from the UNDP Pacific Centre in Suva, Fiji and has offices in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. It will open an office in Samoa in early 2015.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news