UNCDF Praises Fiji's achievement in financial inclusion
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has congratulated Fiji’s continued progress in promoting financial inclusion and has committed to supporting Fiji’s ongoing work to increase access to financial services and products at a meeting between UNCDF Executive Secretary, Judith Karl, and Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
The meeting also included a team from the UNCDF’s flagship programme in the Pacific, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), consisting of PFIP Manager, Mark Flaming, Deputy Programme Manager, Krishnan Narasimhan and Financial Inclusion Specialist, Praneel Pritesh.
At the meeting, Executive Secretary Karl commended the Fijian government on its entry into the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) in January 2017 and for the innovative use of electronic cards to disburse funds to Fijians affected by Cyclone Winston through the Help for Homes initiative. She also updated the Attorney-General on the work of the PFIP in Fiji.
Through the PFIP, the UNCDF assured its full support to the Fijian Government’s ongoing efforts to increase Government-to-person payments, develop micro-pensions through the Fiji National Provident Fund and review the Consumer Credit Act.
The Attorney-General briefed Ms. Karl on Fiji’s agenda for fostering greater financial inclusion and highlighted the recent approval granted to Fiji’s National Switch by Parliament. He also stressed the importance of private sector engagement in the insurance industry, specifically calling for greater access to cyclone insurance for the Fijian people.
The Attorney-General said that Fiji will continue in its role as a leader and role model among Pacific Island countries in fostering financial inclusion and spreading the benefits of economic growth to those on the margins of society.
“At every stage of our economic policy decision-making we are considering how best we can bring more Fijians into the fold of our development and create a more financially inclusive environment in Fiji. We’ve made tremendous progress so far, and we are keen to work with the UNCDF to bring the benefits of affordable financial services and banking products into the lives of more Fijians. Together, we can knock down barriers to financial access in our society and keep the economic success we are enjoying as inclusive and broad-based as possible,” he said.
At every stage of our economic policy decision-making we are considering how best we can bring more Fijians into the fold of our development and create a more financially inclusive environment in Fiji.