By Brad Stave, VisionFund International, Manager of Marketing and Communications
From June 25 -27, 2010, a collection of leaders from the world’s most powerful countries gathered in Ontario, Canada for the G8/G20 meetings.
Development, economic stability, and poverty alleviation were at the core of the agenda, as the group announced sweeping initiatives and a commitment of billions of dollars to combat poverty and improve the lives of those living in developing nations.
Specifically, the G20 leaders announced the development of a set of “Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion.” These principles have a goal to help develop policy and create a regulatory environment that will enable innovative financial inclusion. In addition, the policies encourage the development of microfinance services (including micro lending, micro savings, and micro insurance) that will directly benefit the entrepreneurial poor in the areas where VisionFund and its affiliated microfinance institutions (MFIs) serve.
VisionFund, and its network of 41 MFIs located in every region where World Vision works, welcomes the development of these principles, as they already actively implement many of these principles.
Amongst these principles, VisionFund affiliated MFIs are currently 1) promoting the delivery of market-based and sustainable financial access and services (credit, savings, insurance, etc.), 2) promoting technological and institutional innovation as a means to expand financial system access and usage, 3) ensuring client protection, 4) empowering clients through developing financial literacy, and 4) encouraging partnerships.
Scott Brown, President & CEO of VisionFund welcomed these new principles of the G20, and said, “The G20’s efforts to develop, highlight, and globally encourage these principles for innovative financial inclusion encourages organisations like VisionFund. For years, VisionFund affiliated MFIs have been committed to increased financial inclusion in the countries where they serve. The G20 cannot stop here, as we now look with anticipation, as these principles are globally recognized, developed, and implemented.”
Leaders at the G20 Leaders Summit in Seoul, Korea in November 2010 will work to implement these principles, and seek partners to champion the development of these standards.
To read the set of “Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion,” in its entirety, click on the following link: http://g20.gc.ca/toronto-summit/summit-documents/principles-for-innovative-financial-inclusion/