Myanmar is a country rich in natural resources, however, decades of poor economic management with a heavily controlled economy has resulted in a weak private sector and under-developed financial sector, misallocation of public resources with relatively small public spending on basic services. In Myanmar access to finance is limited and compared to neighbouring countries the financial sector is small and underdeveloped. There are only few institutions providing microfinance services and an estimated 90% of potential deposit and loan clients are unserved, while 95% are considered underserved. Access to finance in rural areas is hardest to find yet most needed, both in terms of economic development as in terms of food security and poverty reduction.
How We Are Helping?
In Myanmar, UNCDF is helping to create inclusive financial sectors by providing access to financial services for individuals and micro and small businesses through the Making Access Possible Programme (MAP) and the Microlead Expansion Programme.
The purpose of MAP is to expand financial services for individuals and small businesses by defining the financial inclusion agenda in Myanmar and aligning resources with key priorities, based on a rigorous evidence-based diagnostic exercise concluded by intense stakeholder dialogue and decision making.
Microlead, launched in 2008 by UNCDF, with support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the purpose of providing loans and grants to leading southern Financial Service Providers (FSPs), supports the expansion of microfinance market leaders in Myanmar. Moreover, it contributes to the United Nations Framework for Myanmar, particularly on contributing to sustainable livelihoods and improved household income in Myanmar.