JOA and Comic Relief Launch 4 Year Partnership
Financial Inclusion at the Margins
Jersey Overseas Aid and Comic Relief today announced the launch of Branching Out, an innovative multi-million pound partnership that has the potential to transform hundreds of thousands of lives in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zambia.
The four-year programme aims to give individuals and small businesses access to affordable financial services – including bank accounts, savings, insurance and credit. It will provide low-income households with the means to plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies. Evidence shows that when people have access to such products and services everyone benefits: people save more; spend more on health care and education; manage risk; cope with unexpected shocks; and invest in income generators and small enterprises.
Over the next four years, JOA and Comic Relief will each contribute £1m a year to the programme resulting in a project total of £8million. The joint approach to funding will be mirrored in the way the project is coordinated and administered – equally between St Helier and London.
Deputy Carolyn Labey, Chairman of Jersey Overseas Aid, said ‘We are delighted to be partnering with one of the UK’s most cherished charities working together in a sector where Jersey has considerable expertise. Branching Out has real potential to make a significant impact and most importantly provide an effective means of bringing individuals out of poverty – and keeping them out of poverty.’
A carefully chosen list of organisations has been invited to apply for multi-year projects with the first grants expected to be awarded by the autumn of this year. Aside from the grants, the programme will promote policy change where needed in the target countries to ensure access to financial services is open to everyone.
Comic Relief’s Executive Director of Impact & Investment, Ruth Davison, added, ‘Financial Inclusion is a pioneering area of development which can transform the lives of individuals, families and communities permanently. As a hub of financial services expertise, along with their 50 years of experience funding international development, Jersey Overseas Aid was a natural partner. Together, we have bold ambitions in Sierra Leone, Zambia and Rwanda.’
Financial inclusion is an enabler of many of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including eliminating extreme poverty (Goal 1), tackling hunger (Goal 2), creating jobs (Goal 8) and improving health (Goal 3) and gender equality (Goal 5).
Comic Relief is a UK charity which aims to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people both at home in the UK and across the world. For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit www.comicrelief.com
Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)
Jersey Overseas Aid
Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA) is an international aid organisation that supports humanitarian and development projects implemented by recognised international charities. Financial Inclusion is one of five priority themes; the other four are Dairy for Development, Environment and Livelihoods, Specialist Health and WASH for Education.