VisionFund impacted 5.2 million children through financial inclusion in 2023

Visionfund financial inclusion

VisionFund International (VFI), the livelihoods and economic empowerment arm of World Vision International, has reached 5.2 million children in 25 countries as their carers became financially empowered last year.  

In its latest annual report, VisionFund International said the majority of those impacted were from the African region, with 4.5 million children. This is followed by Latin America and the Caribbean region, with 318,000 children; the Asia region, with 251,000 children; and Eastern Europe, with 8,000 children. 

“Making a positive impact on the lives of our clients and their children is the most noteworthy objective of our ministry. Through the grace of God, we have been blessed to witness measurable change over time in the businesses, home life and well-being of our clients,” VisionFund International President and Chief Executive Officer Edgard Martinez said.  

The report highlighted that the quality of life of most of the clients improved by 75 percent after receiving their microloans. At least 60 percent of clients also reported that their microloans provided varied and nutritious food to their families. 

In Latin America, 67 percent of clients achieved their personal goals, while 54 percent of clients in Africa said their loans improved their ability to manage their finances. 

The total value of disbursed loans last year was $800 million. 

Sustaining impact towards gender equality and climate resilience 

The annual report also highlighted that 70 percent of the clients last year were women who lived in rural communities, strengthening the organisation’s commitment towards gender equality.  

“Looking forward, we continue to keep pace with global changes, including digital transformation to reach the most vulnerable and a deliberate focus on women living in rural areas,” Martinez added. 

The organisation has also increased insurance options and savings opportunities to enable clients to build resilience through sustainable income sources. For instance, VisionFund Mexico said all its clients have insurance for life, accidents, debts, and funerals. In Zambia, the majority of savings groups said they were able to come up with emergency funds, which enabled them to withstand shocks.  

Over the past two decades, VFI has already lent $11.5 billion towards 20 million loans, providing microfinance services to some of the most vulnerable clients worldwide. 

It provides financial inclusion services to vulnerable, mostly rural communities in 25 countries across four continents. Its products and services include microloans, savings programmes, insurance, and financial education.  

“We’ve seen a transformation in our clients’ lives and, as a result, many children now have brighter futures,” Martinez added. 

VFI is part of World Vision, the global Christian relief, development, and advocacy organisation dedicated to helping children, families, and communities overcome poverty and injustice.