UNCDF has been present in Senegal since 1981, promoting decentralization and increased access to financial services for low-income, rural populations.
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.
In Senegal, rapid urbanization has incentivized UNCDF to pilot its Municipal Investment Finance (MIF) programme and to develop financing instruments that diversify and aggregate municipalities’ financial base.
Under the strategy of "Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era" and with financial support from the European Commission and Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, UNCDF is implementing the PARERBA programme (Projet d'Appui à la Réduction de l'Emigration rurale et à la Réintégration dans le Bassin Arachidier par le développement d'une économie rurale sur base des périmètres irrigués) in Senegal, an initiative aimed at creating and stabilizing rural jobs for young people and returning migrants.
In this project, UNCDF promotes inclusive finance by providing access to financial and non-financial services adapted and accessible to the PARERBA target groups. From 2018 to 2021, UNCDF will facilitate access to financial and non-financial services to 5,000 farmers in the different segments of the agri-food chains, thus contributing to SDGs 1, 2 and 8.
Senegal is also one of the countries where UNCDF implemented its Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) programme between 2015 and 2019, in partnership with the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation. MM4P provided support to digital financial services (DFS) in a select group of Least Development Countries (LDCs) to demonstrate how the correct blend of financial, technical and policy support can build a robust DFS ecosystem that reaches low-income people in LDCs.
From 2010 to 2015, UNCDF implemented the programme YouthStart in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation with the objective to increase access to integrated financial services for youth aged 12 to 24. YouthStart provided technical and financial assistance to 10 financial institutions in 8 Sub-Saharan countries. By the end of the programme, YouthStart tripled its targets reaching more than 635,000 youth with financial and non-financial services.