IFC and Blue Financial Services Help Small Businesses and Local Communities in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia Fight HIV/AIDS
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced plans to work with Blue Financial Services, a pan-African consumer finance provider, to implement a pilot HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention program in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The program will target local communities and small companies, helping them protect businesses and preserve jobs by managing the epidemic’s business risks.
Under the proposed program, Blue Financial Services will use its extensive branch network in the three countries to deliver prevention services and information to staff, clients, and local communities. IFC will work with the company to design products that integrate traditional financial services with HIV/AIDS prevention.
“As a fast-growing consumer finance provider operating in markets where HIV/AIDS prevalence levels are high, it is critical that we address the potential risks of this pandemic,” said Blue Financial Services CEO Dave van Niekerk. “We see excellent prospects for using our network to reach out to clients, and to provide them not only with financing, but also the tools they need to protect their financial and human resources.”
Small-scale, individual, and business borrowers are particularly vulnerable to the risks of HIV/AIDS. “IFC recognizes that the epidemic is as much a business issue as it is a development and humanitarian concern,” said IFC Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Thierry Tanoh. “By leveraging the reach of institutions like Blue Financial Services that target underserved markets, we can help provide small businesses with solutions that combine access to finance with relevant HIV/AIDS prevention support.”
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