A robust and strong financial system is an essential pillar of sustainable development, economic growth, and progress of an economy. Financial inclusion, which may be defined as the process of ensuring access to financial services to everyone, has a prominent role to play in this regard.
According to the annual Funders’ Survey released by a World Bank think tank, the global investment in affordable financial services for the poor has gone up by an average seven percent per year since 2011.
The survey released by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), which analyses trends in international funding for financial inclusion, is based on the data from 56 international funders. It reveals that donors had committed at least $31 billion (20.9 billion pounds) in 2013, up from $29 billion (19.5 billion pounds) the previous year.
The survey analysed funding pattern of financial inclusion projects from both public funders i.e. development finance institutions, multilateral and bilateral funders as well as private funders i.e. foundations, institutional and individual investors, etc.
Public donors accounted for 75 percent of financial inclusion funding in 2013, while the commitment from private sector fell by around 2 percent annually between 2011 and 2013.
Eastern Europe, central and south Asia received the majority of funds and the largest number of financial inclusion projects were initiated in sub-Saharan Africa.
The majority of the projects focused on improving the financial capability of poor people.