United States Government Lukautim Graun Program and CEFI Launch New Partnership

The Lukautim Graun Program (LGP) — funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Cardno International Development — and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) signed a partnership agreement to roll out financial literacy trainings in six provinces in Papua New Guinea. Approximately 86% of PNG’s population lives in rural and remote areas on land owned by traditional landowners. Pressures from such industries as forest extraction as well as population growth threaten the PNG’s natural resources and biodiversity. With limited options local communities are tempted to convert their resources to meet short-term needs. This risks the ability of current and future generations to meet their needs and potentially opportunities for increased conflict larger demands for governments to care for those whose resources have been lost. USAID’s Lukautim Graun Program is a five-year project that works with PNG governments and non-governmental organizations to empower traditional landowners to directly manage and conserve the natural resources on which their livelihoods, wellbeing, and social stability depend. CEFI promotes financial inclusion and literacy, poverty elimination and the promotion of vibrant financial sector across Papua New Guinea, including for those in rural and remote areas. CEFI advances accessible quality financial services, innovative delivery channels and financial education to those who are often completely left out of the formal economy. CEFI also works to ensure financial education is introduced into public and private school curriculums and promote standardization and certification processes for the delivery of financial literacy training in PNG. CEFI’s mission aligns with USAID’s LGP-based efforts to expand entrepreneurship and creative enterprises, increase access to financial services, and develop new micro- and small-scale businesses in PNG, particularly for people who live in rural and remote areas. CEFI and USAID’s LGP program will particularly emphasize women’s economic empowerment. “Unless women and girls are empowered to fully participate in the economy, PNG will not be able to meet its development targets,” Maurice Knight, Chief of Party for USAID’s Lukautim Graun Program, said. “And for women, and men, to be fully enabled in the economy, PNG’s biodiversity and natural resources must be wisely managed so that current generations can meet their needs while not threatening the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The linkages are obvious.”

CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe (far left) and AOR / Development Assistance Specialist, USAID Julie Hulama ( far right), sign the financial inclusion partnership documents.

Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director for CEFI stated that “Financial inclusion is identified as an important priority in the implementation of CEFI’s third financial inclusion strategy which women and youth are important under the digital financial services and financial literacy and financial education.” “This agreement between Cardno and CEFI aligns with USAID’s 2020 Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy that affirms USAID’s vision of a prosperous and peaceful world in which women, girls, men, and boys enjoy equal economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and are equally empowered to secure better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries,” said Julie Hulama, USAID Development Specialist. “Our cooperation also aligns with CEFI’s financial inclusion strategy that prioritizes access to financial services for informal and small-scale enterprise development, SME Finance, resource sector engagement and digital finance. The signing of this MOU comes at the perfect time as we launch our new 2022-2026 in the first quarter of 2022,” said Mr. Loi Bakani, Chair and member of the Board of CEFI. Through the USAID Lukautim Graun Program, CEFI and Cardno will begin implementing joint training programs in the first quarter of 2022 in Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka, Madang, Milne Bay, Morobe and Simbu provinces.

CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe (3rd from left), Bank of PNG Assistant Governor Ellison Pidik (4th left) and AOR / Development Assistance Specialist, USAID Julie Hulama and Maurice Knight (Cardno LGP Chief of party) with the signed financial inclusion partnership documents.
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION SNAPSHOT  KEY ENABLERS The NFIS framework is built on three key enablers. The key enablers will support targeted strategic objective – the drivers – aimed at achieving financial inclusion policy vision. 1. Government and private sector engagement: Effective coordination and strong commitment is required from government, other policy makers, regulators and public and private sector. 2. Policy and Regulatory Environment: NFIS vision can be achieved meaningfully only if the policy and regulatory environment promotes stability, 3. Digital Financial Services: DFS plays significant role to overcome the barriers of financial inclusion in PNG. Adoption of DFS addresses key barriers including cost of delivery of financial services, access to financial services by remote communities and socio-economic barriers. KEY DRIVERS The NFIS envisions four drivers that are critical for achieving NFIS vision. The drivers are built on the foundation of three enablers. The NFIS action plan reflects the drivers and national impact indicators are built on these drivers for monitoring and evaluation. The impact indicators are targets committed by participating financial service providers. 1. Access to quality services and products through widespread accessible delivery channels: Ensure unserved and underserved segments opportunity to participate in formal financial system. 2. Access to finance for (M)SME and agriculture sector growth: The sector is often perceived by financial service providers as high-risk. Improve financing for (M)SMEs and agriculture sector to increase economic diversification and job creation. 3. Extend inclusive insurance using technology enabled models: Majority of people including business and agriculture in PNG are not insured. The inclusive insurance sector continues to be in its infancy. 4. Increase level of financial literacy and education: The lack of financial literacy and competency is a key barrier for financial inclusion resulting in widespread financial exploitation
CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe (3rd from left), Bank of PNG Assistant Governor Ellison Pidik (4th left) and AOR / Development Assistance Specialist, USAID Julie Hulama and Maurice Knight (Cardno LGP Chief of party) with the signed financial inclusion partnership documents.
USAID LUKAUTIM GRAUN PROGRAM SNAPSHOT  Implementation: 2019 – 2024 Partners: Led by Cardno International Development in partnership with Real Social Impact, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, Woodland Park Zoo – PNG Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, and Arizona State University’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes as a key resource partner. OVERALL GOALS 1. Reducing the primary drivers and threats to biodiversity in PNG by strengthening management of customary lands. 2. Contributing to women prospering in the workforce, succeeding as entrepreneurs, and enabled and fully participating in the economy. PROJECT OBJECTIVES 1. Strengthen institutional capacity of government and civil society to support customary land and sea management. 2. Strengthen governance systems to improve accountability, transparency, and mechanisms for redress in natural resource management in ways that protect, restore, and enable customary land, sea, and freshwater management. 3. Strengthen private sector engagement and alliances to improve the incentives for biodiversity conservation. 4. Improve local knowledge and capacity for site-based management. 5. Support women prospering in the workforce, succeeding as entrepreneurs, and enabled in the PNG economy.
About CEFI – www.thecefi.org CEFI was established under the Association Incorporation Act and officially launched on the 24th April 2013. CEFI is endorsed by PNG’s National Executive Council (NEC), as the industry apex organization for coordinating, advocating and monitoring all financial inclusion activities in PNG. CEFI’s vision, mission and values focus on financial inclusion and literacy, poverty elimination and the promotion of vibrant financial institutional operation in Papua New Guinea. About USAID – The United States Agency for International Development is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances United States national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. Contacts  Maurice Knight Chief Party USAID-LGP +675 7914 4555 Saliya Ranasinghe Executive Director CEFI +675 71102459

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