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 Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era strategy, UNCDF aims to bring its expertise in youth financial inclusion in Senegal. One of the programmes currently implemented under this strategy is 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) funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), within the framework of the cooperation agreement between Enabel and UNCDF.
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.