UNCDF in Malawi

UNCDF in Malawi

The Challenge

Malawi is among the world's least developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. The Malawian government faces challenges in building and expanding the economy, improving education, health care, environmental protection, and becoming less aid-dependent. Malawi’s Human Development Index value for 2013 positioned the country at 170 out of 187 countries.

How We Are Helping?

UNCDF has been helping Malawi to meet its development challenges by working to expand access to financial services for low-income and rural populations. The Financial Inclusion in Malawi (FIMA) project seeks to broaden access to financial services, particularly in rural areas where demand for services often goes unmet. The programme is jointly supported by UNCDF, UNDP, Cordaid and the Government of Malawi.

In addition, UNCDF is implementing its Youthstart regional programme which aims to increase access to financial services for young people.

UNCDF is also working with UNDP to support the local economic development component of the Malawi Local Government Strengthening and Investment programme. This four-year programme (2011 to 2014) aims to help stimulate and transform local economies through investments and improved service delivery. The programme also supports institutional and capacity development for those local governments and institutions responsible for implementing decentralization in Malawi.

In Detail

Project

Financial Inclusion in Malawi (FIMA)

Goal To broaden access to financial services for low-income individuals
How
  • Focusing on providing access to financial services in rural areas.
Period 2007-2011
Partners UNCDF, UNDP, Cordaid, Government of Malawi.
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution USD 6,971,825
USD 2,000,000
Progress
Budget
Results (including scaling and policy impact)
Project

Youthstart

Goal To increase access of Youth to financial services.
How
  • Providing funds and training in youth microfinance to Financial Service Providers.
Period 2010-2014
Partners UNCDF, The Mastercard Foundation.
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution USD 12,000,000
USD 200,000
Progress
Budget
Results (including scaling and policy impact)
Project

Malawi Local Government Strengthening and Investment Programme (MLGSI)

Goal To help stimulate and transform local economies through investments and improved service delivery.
How
  • Supporting institutional and capacity development for local authorities and institutions involved in the decentralization process.
Period 2011–2014
Partners UNCDF, UNDP, Government of Malawi.
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution USD 10,963,194
USD 2,000,000
Progress
Budget
Results (including scaling and policy impact)
Project

MicroLead

Goal To increase access to financial services, particularly savings, by supporting the expansion of microfinance savings-led market leaders in underserved countries.
How
  • Offering grants and loans that incentivize leading providers to start up new, or strengthen existing financial institutions that target low-income people, especially with savings, in underserved areas, particularly countries struggling to recover from crisis and conflict;
  • Through a competitive process to select leading indigenous microfinance providers from developing countries to expand their reach by implementing a variety of approaches including greenfields, transformations of MFIs to formally regulated deposit-taking institutions, and providing technical assistance to in-country MFIs;
  • Supporting technical advisors who work to help those providers to develop the institutional capacity to extend their reach.
Period 2008-2017
Partners UNCDF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Mastercard Foundation, LIFT Myanmar.
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution USD 58,562,939
USD 7,871,850
Progress
Budget
Results (including scaling and policy impact)
Project

Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P)

Goal To demonstrate how the correct mix of technical, financial, and policy support can assist in scaling up sustainable branchless and mobile financial services that reach the poor in very low-income countries.
How
  • Providing financial and technical support to service providers and financial service agents;
  • Supporting market and client research to develop products and services that reach low-income and rural households;
  • Bringing large scale users into the branchless and mobile financial services system;
  • Assisting central banks to create enabling environment for branchless and mobile financial services;
Period 2014-2019
Partners The MasterCard Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sida, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Total project cost and UNCDF contribution $36,083,598.88
$1,918,415
Progress
Budget
Results (including scaling and policy impact)

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