Barclays $20m community investment partnership announced at the Clinton Global Initiative
Effort created with CARE International, Plan International and Accenture to help 800,000 people in developing countries
A major new community investment partnership led by Barclays which tackles financial exclusion in developing countries is being announced by Former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York today. The partnership will enable 800,000 poor and vulnerable people in developing countries to access community-based financial services to help them secure a more sustainable future.
The Barclays-led programme will improve access to community-based financial services, such as village savings and loans associations. It will enhance and expand these existing services, as well as create appropriate, effective and accessible links to the formal financial system through new products and delivery channels.
Teaming with Accenture and two international development agencies – CARE International and Plan International – to design and deliver the programme, Barclays is investing $20m over three years. The programme will deliver projects in ten countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The programme addresses one of the main agenda items being discussed at the CGI Annual Meeting: Strengthening Livelihoods through Financial Services for the Poor which, under the umbrella theme of poverty alleviation, represents one of the CGI’s four areas of focus. The CGI Annual Meeting opened in New York this week and is being attended by more than 130 leading CEOs and over 50 current or former Heads of State.
Commenting on the announcement, Archie Cox, Chairman, Barclays Americas, said:
“Tackling financial exclusion is one of the most powerful routes to helping people break out of the poverty cycle. By improving access to financial services, this partnership aims to provide people with the financial security needed to build a sustainable future, educate their children and meet basic needs such as health and nutrition. We are proud to be working with our partners to deliver such a critical and far-reaching programme.”
The programme builds on Barclays experience in the community investment/financial inclusion space, including ground-breaking projects in Ghana and Uganda. It forms part of Banking on Brighter Futures, Barclays five-year, $150m community investment programme supporting 1,500 projects around the world.
Each organisation involved in the programme brings specific skills and expertise. CARE International and Plan International – both leading global development agencies with particular expertise in economic development – are responsible for implementing projects under the programme, while Accenture Development Partnerships, a separate business unit within Accenture, will provide strategic advice and technical and project management support. Accenture Development Partnerships provides consulting services to non-profit organizations, NGOs, foundations and donor organizations operating in the development sector, helping these organizations achieve their social and economic development goals.
In addition to providing funding, Barclays will use its business expertise to help create linkages between the community-based financial systems and the formal financial systems. The programme will use the skills of Barclays employees to design appropriate products and provide training and mentoring in financial literacy and small business management.
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