European Union (EU) in PNG announced their contribution of Euro 6 million to UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) for financial inclusion programme in the Highlands Region.
Access to Financial Services is part of the Euro 22 million EU funded 10th EDF Rural Economic Development Phase II (REDP 2), countersigned today by the Minister for National Planning and National Authorizing Officer for European Development Funds to PNG, Honorable Charles Abel, MP.
The overall objective of the RED 2 Programme is to contribute to improving livelihoods of people living in rural areas of PNG’s Highlands Region. The RED 2 Programme will support the delivery of three interconnected Components (rural infrastructures – road rehabilitation, financial inclusion, and agriculture value chain development), ensuring maximum impact on poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.
The EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, who is on a 3-day tour to PNG, remarked that the EU will continue to support the development of rural communities and markets in PNG.
UNCDF will implement Euro 6 million of the REDF 2 to support the development of mobile and branchless banking ecosystem, product diversification, and financial education in PNG’s Highlands Region. The Highlands Region, where over 42% of the total 7.2 million people live also has the highest percentage of unbanked population at 91.9% compared to the national average of 85.6%.