Finding Funds for the Poor

Today, the United Nations Capital Development Fund held a side event on the margins of the ECOSOC Special Meeting on Inequality. It spoke of how financial inclusion strategies can support inclusive growth, specifically with the role of country-level diagnostics and data. With more than 75% of the population in developing countries struggling with an income inequality distribution more unbalanced than it was in the 1990s, it is essential to promote economic growth. Financial inclusion promotes inclusive development and reduces inequalities, supporting efforts to reduce poverty, starvation, and gender imbalance.

The meeting began with a brief introduction by Ms. Karl, who stated that a banks need to understand who their client is and how to make successful business projects. “If people don’t understand the value of a product, they won’t use it. Worse than not using the product is that poorly designed products can increase financial vulnerability…” She believes that it needs to be easier for poor people to get loans without credits to buy homes, start businesses, and pay for school. Between 2011-2014, the unbanked population dropped 20%, but in developing countries, only 54% of the population has formal accounts.

Mr. Bhattarai stated that services need to be dynamic, evolving to meet the needs of the consumers.

Ms. Naidoo gave a technical presentation on Making Access Possible (MAP) diagnostics and stakeholder processes — it help countries develop their own financial strategies as the critical entry point connecting markets, sharing ideas, and informing policymakers, regulators, and financial service providers on the best way to manage investments and expand financial inclusion. The data from MAP shows unique insights on issues such as the need to place importance on bank account usage, rather than access.

Ms. Babajide and Mr. Poorta also discussed the findings of MAP and led an open-floor Q&A to conclude.

Meeting: UNCDF: Unlocking Public and Private Finance for the Poor

Date/Location: March 30th, 2016, 13:15-14:30; Conference Room 7

Speakers: Judith Karl, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund; H.E. Mr. Durga P. Bhattarai, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UNited Nations; Ms. Kameshnee Naidoo, MAP Programme Advisor, UNCDF; Mr. Adebayo Babajide, Minister Counsellor, European Union Delegation to the United Nations; Mr. Anne Poorta, SDG and FFD Coordinator, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations; Mr. Henri Dommel (Moderator), Director of Inclusive Finance, UNCDF

Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

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