Ethiopia ranks below the sub-Saharan African average in the 2013 Human Development Index, number 173 out of 187 countries. Over 39 percent of Ethiopians live below the poverty line, and development indicators drop significantly in the country’s least developed regions.
How We Are Helping?
UNCDF is implementing three programmes in in support of financial inclusion in Ethiopia: A joint programme with ILO to support the development of microinsurance services in association with microfinance savings and credit services, and two UNCDF global inclusive finance programmes, namely the Least Developed Countries Fund for savings-led market leaders for inclusive finance (MicroLead), which aims to increase access to financial services for low-income populations in LDCs; and YouthStart, which aims to increase access to financial services for young people.
In the area of inclusive finance, UNCDF will also support the development of the sector by a comprehensive country diagnostic and policy programming tool called Making Access Possible (MAP). MAP is a global initiative which has been tested and proven successful a number of countries in Asia and Africa. The comprehensive sector strategy which will be one of the outcomes of the process should be orienting all development partners’ support to the sector, and as such will be the central pillar in UNCDF’s programming in the country.
In the area of local development finance, UNCDF is one of the lead partners in the UN Joint Programme Enhancing Public Service Delivery for Accelerating Outcomes in Ethiopia’s four Developing Regional States (UNJP-EPSD). UNCDF’s support focuses on improving sustainable livelihoods in 22 pilot woredas (districts), mainly through capital investments and capacity development in key value chains. The emergence of a number of Income Generating Groups around many of these investments has already created a significant demand for microfinance services in the same localities. The potential for scaling up the positive impacts on livelihood conditions, women’s in particular, in these 4 regional states is therefore considerable.