PAPUA NEW GUINEA
UNCDF launched its Financial Inclusion interventions in Papua New Guinea in 2009 through its Pacific Financial inclusion Program (PFIP) and focused on creating an inclusive environment for inception and scale up of digital financial services. UNCDF has been supporting the digital financial service providers, banks and other stakeholders in the country to develop the eco-system.
Today, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
UNCDF in line with its Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era Strategy is currently developing an Inclusive Digital Economy Accelerator (IDEA) Programme in Papua New Guinea. The programme will look to build an inclusive and sustainable digital economy so that Papua New Guineans can access a range of financial services to actively participate in their local economy.
UNCDF is part of the EU funded joint UN Support to Rural Entrepreneurship, Investment and Trade (STREIT) project, led by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and in partnership with UNDP, ILO and ITU. UNCDF is responsible for the access to finance component under the project.
The STREIT project aims to support vanilla, cocoa and fisheries value chains in the Sepik provinces of PNG with a specific focus on women, youth and rural development. UNCDF will continue to engage with the private sector, regulators and the government to scale up DFS eco-system in the project areas focused on supporting agricultural value chains, incorporating lessons learned from PFIP.
Through Financial Inclusion Practice, UNCDF had jointly implemented the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (2008-2020) with UNDP, increasing the number of low-income customers who adopted formal financial services. PFIP aimed to add one million Pacific Islanders to the formal financial sector by 2019 by supporting financial service providers to innovate with products and services for mass market customers, supporting governments to create an enabling policy environment for financial innovation, and empowering consumers.
PFIP funded 44 projects in the Pacific with financial service providers who have innovated with technology and products, enrolling customers in services such as agency banking, mobile wallets, micro insurance, micro loans, remittances and savings groups.