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By JACKLYN SIRIAS
MORE than a million people previously without banking services have been brought into the mainstream banking system through the financial inclusion programmes, says Bank of PNG assistant governor Elizabeth Genia.
She said during the Reuben Summerlin Innovation Award ceremony on Monday in Port Moresby that between 2014 and 2015, 1.6 million people had opened accounts with licenced financial institutions.
“Very significantly a substantial proportion of these new account holders are mostly women and young people,” she said.
“Bank of PNG’s current financial inclusion strategy has stepped up the targets with the goal of reaching two million more rural unbanked people – of which 50 per cent to be women.”
Genia thanked international donors, especially the European Union, Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) , United Nations Capital Development Funds (UNCDF) and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) for their assistance.
The PFIP began in 2008 to make financial services happen for low-income people.
PFIP manager Mark Flaming said the programme funded by the UNCDF partnered with 30 financial service providers in the region.
It funded 35 projects with service providers which enrolled more than 1.6 million people with services such as agency banking, mobile wallets, micro insurance, micro loans, remittances and savings groups.