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

 

UK Labour Statement: The Shooting Of MP Jo Cox

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party said: “The whole of the Labour Party and Labour family - and indeed the whole country - will be in shock at the horrific murder of Jo Cox today. Jo had a lifelong record of public service and a deep commitment to humanity." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Rainbow Colours On MFC In Sympathy For Florida Killings
Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre will be lit in colours of the rainbow Monday as a gesture of support for the LGBTI victims of the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news