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FSD Africa reduces poverty through financial sector development in sub-Saharan Africa.
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PRESS RELEASE


Financing the Frontier: Inclusive Financial Sector Development in Fragility-Affected States in Africa


Wednesday 15th February 2017–
Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is reducing, but the concentration of extreme poverty in fragile states is likely to increase, according to a new report published today by the Financial Sector Deepening Africa in partnership with Mercy Corps. The report concludes that the donor community can crowd-in legitimate financial market actors and provide the flexibility needed to take risks, and allow development actors to pivot as the fragility-affected states in Africa (FASA) change and adjust.
 
SSA has one of the world’s highest refugee and internally displaced populations – over 19 million people in 2016 – and the numbers are rising due to new and ongoing crisis in several countries. According to the report, SSA has 483 million people living on less than US$1.25 per day, representing a poverty gap three times the level of South Asia. Poverty rates in fragile states are, on average, 20% higher than countries with comparable levels of economic development; the gap is widest for countries affected by repeated cycles of violence. Finance plays a crucial role in poverty and conflict cycles, as lack of equitable access to financial services can lead to underdevelopment and stagnation, exacerbating social and economic unrest.

As a group, fragile-affected countries lagged behind in reaching the Millennium Development Goals; nearly two-thirds failed to meet the goal of halving poverty in 2015. Today, the 50 countries and economies on OECD’s 2015 fragile states list – of which 30 are African – are home to 43% of the global population who live on less than US$1.25 per day and by 2030, this figure could reach 62%.
 
Commenting on the report, Joe Huxley, the Regional Strategies Co-ordinator at FSD Africa says: “Fragile economies require special attention if financial sector development outcomes are to be shared evenly throughout the continent. A vibrant financial sector provides room for facilitating employment creation, embarking on infrastructure projects, and opening-up new economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It is incumbent upon the private sector, governments and government agencies, and international development organisations to scale up efforts to build financial systems that are efficient, robust and inclusive in Africa.”

Click here to read more and download the full report.

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps is global leader in market systems and financial sector development in fragility-affected states and countries experiencing complex crises.
 
Twitter: @mercycorps_uk
Website: www.mercycorps.org.uk
Email: tanderson@mercycorps.org
 
About FSD Africa
Funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), FSD Africa is a non-profit company which aims to increase prosperity, create jobs and reduce poverty by bringing about a transformation in financial markets in SSA and in the economies, they serve. It provides knowhow and capital to champions of change whose ideas, influence and actions will make finance more useful to African businesses and households.

Through access to finance initiatives, it seeks to build financial inclusion. Through capital market development, it looks to promote economic growth and increase investment. As a regional programme, it seeks to encourage collaboration, knowledge transfer and market-building activities – especially in fragile states.

Where there are opportunities to drive financial market transformation more quickly and intensively through capital investment, FSD Africa will deploy equity, loans or guarantees as the situation requires.

Twitter:    @FSDAfrica
Linkedin:  Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa)
Website:   www.fsdafrica.org
Email:       joe@fsdafrica.org
 
For media enquiries please contact:
Martin Namasaka
Communications Co-ordinator
Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa)
Mobile:  +254731953944
Email: martin@fsdafrica.org

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FSD Africa is a DFID-funded non-profit company that reduces poverty through financial sector development.

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