1.7 billion people have no access to basic financial services, most of them in developing countries. Strong evidence shows that building financial inclusion is a crucial enabler for reducing poverty, increasing resilience, and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. As a leading financial services centre with an increasingly effective aid programme, Jersey can play a key role in sustainably transforming hundreds of thousands of lives with its expertise, philanthropy and investment in this field.

This programme tackles poverty and inequality through fostering inclusive growth by increasing levels of financial inclusion – through the extension of savings, credit, insurance, and payment services for individuals, households and MSMEs to participate in the local economy. JOA has hitherto funded such projects exclusively through its partnership (‘Branching Out’) with Comic Relief, but from 2020 will also make grants independently.

Financial Inclusion varies across countries and regions. Therefore this programme does not aim for a one-size-fits-all approach but encourages proposals that are tailored to the context and capabilities of the country and region of implementation. Assessment will focus specifically on the needs analysis and intervention logic built around local knowledge of the projects.

Projects will seek to improve access and usage of formal and informal financial services, including through the use of digital channels and the empowerment of poor communities and marginalised groups to develop financial literacy and financial capability. Projects may also seek to improve cooperation and capacity among policy makers, financial institutions, mobile network operators and other stakeholders responsible for delivery and overseeing financial services.

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