Since the early 2000’s, Côte d’Ivoire has been facing several socio-political and military crisis with a negative impact on its economic performance. Between 2000 and 2009, GDP per capita fell by 1.2% annually. The country recorded significant declines on the poverty reduction side and the achievement of some MDGs. The poverty rate increased from 38,4% in 2002 to 48,9% in 2008. Poverty in Côte d’Ivoire remains fundamentally a rural challenge, with almost 62,4% of the rural population living under the poverty line, against 29,45% living in urban areas in 2008. The political crisis seriously aggravated an already precarious humanitarian situation.
The social cohesion, the state authority, and the poor governance, seriously affected by socio-political crisis, are provided in recovery . The DSRP 2009-2013 has been revised and adopted in September 2011.
How We Are Helping?
UNCDF, through its former Special Unit for Microfinance (SUM), begun to promote this new development paradigm in the country mainly through the MicroStart Côte d’Ivoire project, which is part of the global MicroStart programme. In consultation with practitioners and donors, MicroStart was devised as a pilot programme to build the capacity of local organizations to initiate or expand existing microfinance activities.
As the lead technical unit serving the UNDP Group, UNCDF was approached for its assistance in setting up a MicroStart Programme in Cote d’Ivoire to enhance the access of low-income entrepreneurs, particularly women, to financial services in order to expand their business, increase their income, and augment employment.
Côte d’Ivoire is in urgent need of a microfinance sector support programme, given the huge demand for financial services expressed by the population during this economic recovery phase. To that effect, UNDP has requested UNCDF’s technical assistance in order to assess the microfinance sector and come up with the formulation of a new support programme aligned with the revised national strategy. We believe that UNDP/UNCDF’s investment could add tremendous value in rebuilding the microfinance sector, especially in the context where the Government has expressed its political willingness and financial contribution.
Côte d’Ivoire will also be one of the 4 pilot countries (with Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) for the new programme of UNCDF and the Government of Luxembourg called Local Cross-Border Initiative (LOBI).
The new programme will support the definition of cross-border strategies and the piloting of cross-border local development processes to improve the economic stability and human security in the regions. The initiative will be implemented over a 5 year period beginning in 2012, in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).