The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the least developed countries in the world. Its Human Development Index value for 2012 positioned the country at 180 out of 187 countries. Illegal weapons are prevalent throughout the country, the legacy of years of unrest, and armed groups remain active in the volatile north. Thousands of Central Africans have been displaced, many crossing the border into Chad. Political and social instability has weakened the social fabric, reduced saving and investment among the population, and lessened the number of donors involved in the microfinance sector. Though CAR is currently in a state of relative stability, the microfinance sector remains at an embryonic stage, with demand going largely unmet.
How We Are Helping?
UNCDF, UNDP, the Central African Government and various players of the microfinance sector now wish to drive a programme to support the emergence of an inclusive financial sector in the CAR in order to give the poor and low-income population access to sustainable financial products and services provided by microfinance institutions operating in a sustainable legal and institutional framework.
The Programme d'Appui à l'Emergence d'un Secteur Financier Inclusif en République Centrafricaine (PAE/SFI) is taking place over four years with a budget of $ 4 million. The project is currently funded by UNCDF ($1.2m) and UNDP ($1.6m). Funding for the remainder of the programme remains open to other donors interested in the microfinance sector in Central African Republic. Already the Arab Gulf Programme for Development Organizations (AGFUND) provides the sector $100,000. Specially, for year 2011, the UNPBF (Peace Building Fund) provides $800,000 to extend financial services access to the areas affected by conflicts.