With approximately 3.4 bank branches for every 100,000 adults, Liberia is among the countries with the lowest banking penetration in the world. This penetration is set to shrink even further as commercial banks reduce their presence in the country due to severe infrastructural challenges that make traditional banking unsustainable outside the country’s capital Monrovia. Banks also face challenges linked to the aftermath of the Ebola epidemic and falling global commodity prices that have ravaged Liberia’s already fragile economy.
In the Joe Bar Market on the Old Road, the stalls follow one another neatly, displaying local delicacies like colourful embroidery on rotting-wood-plank canvas.
If you have been there this year and you had to think of a colour associated with this place, your mind would probably respond yellow without hesitation. Yellow has become the dominant colour in the market since market women started accepting mobile money.
In collaboration with the Central Bank of Liberia (CLB), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) programme Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is launching today a national Working Group on Digital Financial Services (DFS) with the primary objective of providing a platform for collaboration among the different players in accelerating the development of the digital financial services ecosystem in Liberi
This report expands on the initial diagnostic of Liberia’s financial sector conducted in 2012 and the subsequent work done by UNCDF during the Ebola crisis, under the Payment Programme for Ebola Response Workers (PPERW), to ensure that response workers receive payments in a timely manner. The report presents an assessment Liberia’s financial sector, providing a review of the relevant policies and regulations, examination the sector’s structure and players, and evaluation of the robustness of liquidity management and payment systems in the country.
MicroLead's partners are expanding credit and savings services throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. In Liberia, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Trust Savings Credit Union (TSCU) Credit Union are increasing outreach to rural areas. Their services are in such high demand, that rural communities are banding together to help open new credit union branches.
MicroLead partners are expanding credit and savings services throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. In Liberia, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Trust Savings Credit Union (TSCU) are increasing outreach to women. Here’s their story in their own words.
Since the Ebola epidemic ended in May 2015, TSCU has made tremendous progress in the growth and development of the WOCCU MicroLead: The Credit Union Revitalization Programme in Liberia.
Credit unions in Liberia don’t have the best reputation. So when the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Liberia and the Trust Savings Credit Union (TSCU) began work in Liberia’s Region Three, they knew they had to take a new approach.
TSCU enhanced their branding to differentiate their branches from other ad hoc savings clubs. Now, the TSCU branches in the region look more like banks both inside and out.
As part of its financial inclusion work, UNCDF has unique experience in supporting payment digitization, including for salaries, pensions, and social benefits. This reduces inefficiencies and improves transparency.
UNDP has helped the Liberian government pay thousands of Ebola workers. Over $1 million dollars in cash payments were distributed across the country in January alone.
The workers were hired at the height of the crisis to help run treatment centres, help communities prevent transmission and track people that have had contact with victims. Many worked tirelessly without pay for months as the country struggled to cope with the epidemic.