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

 

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news