Financial services for disadvantaged groups

Leaving no one behind

Refugee camp in Jordan

Some two billion people worldwide have no access to financial services such as loans and bank accounts. Worst affected are the most vulnerable in society – the poor, women, young people, displaced people and the rural population, particularly in Africa.

With its new Financial Inclusion Action Plan, the G20 is working to advance the provision of financial services in particular for these groups. The aim is to fight poverty, reduce inequalities and facilitate investment in education and business activities as stipulated in the 2030 Agenda.

The German Presidency put a special focus here on including refugees and internally displaced persons.

When people are forced to leave their homes and while they are on the move, accessing safe and affordable financial services is often a challenge. Giving them the chance to deposit money safely and receive funds from friends and relatives rapidly and at a reasonable price, or even borrow money, can improve the outlook for displaced people. Digital solutions can play an important part in this. They open up ways to make financial services available at affordable prices, even in remote areas, and to simplify identification procedures.

In order to find ways to reduce the obstacles that people face, for example, when opening a bank account, using approaches built on existing solutions, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) organised a workshop this year with representatives of governments and of organisations from humanitarian aid and development cooperation, and the finance sector. Under Germany's G20 Presidency, a GPFI strategy paper was drafted, which brings together relevant fields of action and policy recommendations.

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