UNCDF has been present in Tonga since 2008, working with partners to improve financial involvement of under-represented groups in areas where financial services tend to be limited.
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 is bringing its expertise in promoting financial inclusion and resilient local development to support climate change and natural disaster risk management though the Pacific Insurance Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP). The multi-year programme will be implemented in partnership with UNDP and UNU-EHS through MCII. The Pacific Insurance Climate Adaptation Programme aims to improve the financial preparedness and resilience of Pacific people towards climate change and natural hazards. It will focus on market-based meso and micro insurance schemes. It will offer an option for the national and sub national governments to consider subscribing to a ‘macro to micro’ scheme to cater for the vulnerable segments. The regional focus will cover Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and other Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS).
UNCDF's work in commitment financial inclusion was executed in Tonga through the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) (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 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.
UNCDF's Inclusive Digital Economies practice is now working to promote financial health in Tonga through its Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era strategy. One critical workstream involves our collaboration with UNDO to work with legally established aggregator e-commerce platform operators that can support local entrepreneurs and microenterprises in Tonga, specifically to help them migrate their business online in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.