Financial Inclusion a Policy Priority for Nepal
Financial inclusiveness is understood as providing and ensuring reliable and affordable financial services to all segments of society. Although access to finance is necessary for all members of society, it is particularly more important for disadvantaged and low income groups, as it provides opportunities for them to save and invest, and protect themselves from various risks such as natural disasters, illness, and loss of livelihoods. Read more
Making Access Possible
Financial inclusion has been identified as a priority by many governments around the world, and internationally as the core of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); as appropriate financial services can help improve household welfare and spur small enterprise activity. Financial inclusion is seen as a major contributor to the achievement of a number of SDGs. Macroeconomic evidence shows that economies with deeper financial intermediation tend to grow faster and reduce income inequality. At a national level financial inclusion complements critical national policies, notably on poverty eradication, reducing inequality, job creation and growth, as well as supporting education and health objectives. Read more
Where is Financial Inclusion Going?
Developing countries and emerging markets around the world are taking up the call to use access to financial services as a tool to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set for 2030. Nepal is no exception. The government of Nepal plans to use financial inclusion (FI) as a way to ensure higher, sustainable and equitable growth, helping the country to graduate from least-developed country (LDC) status by 2022, and to achieve the SDGs and become a middle-income country by 2030. Read more
Driving the Agenda of Financial Inclusion in Nepal
The recently launched Making Financial Access Possible (MAP) is a nationally representative diagnostic study undertaken by the Nepal Rastra Bank with support from UNCDF and UNDP. The study provides an overall picture of the financial inclusion situation in Nepal. The related FinScope survey (2015) – a demand side study that feeds the MAP findings – provides an overview of how people source their income and how they manage their financial lives. Read more
Regulatory Perspective of Financial Inclusion in Nepal
In the year 2015, Nepal had a per capita income of USD 762, making it one of the poorest countries in the world. The national average poverty line is at 25.2%, attributed to the fact that poverty is higher in rural areas; with more than 81% of the country’s population living there. The geographical dispersion of the societies, lack of infrastructural development in the field of health, education, road and communication, the lack of economic opportunity, dependency of 66% of population on agriculture for livelihood and low awareness about the financial system in rural areas pose additional challenges for enhancing financial inclusion in Nepal. Read more
In Conversation with Judith Karl
Nepal Rastra Bank together with UNCDF recently launched the financial inclusion roadmap for Nepal as part of the Making Access Possible (MAP) initiative. This study was conducted with the objective of escalating financial access in rural areas, to ultimately reduce poverty and increase the standard of living. MAP aims at encouraging the use of financial services among the poorer sections of Nepali society as financial inclusion is proven to create greater opportunities for income generating activities. During the launch, Sujeev Shakya, Chairperson of Nepal Economic Forum sat with Judith Karl, Executive Secretary of UNCDF to discuss some of the biggest road blocks to Nepal’s financial inclusion scenario. Read more