The development of inclusive financial systems adapted to the needs of the poor in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries fosters economic growth, thereby making a key contribution to poverty alleviation.
The microfinance sector has grown rapidly over the past twenty years. Financial products and services have become more complex, the nature of microfinance institutions (MFIs) has evolved, organisations dedicated to professionalism and transparency of the sector have emerged and the international private and public capital flowed.
The European approach
The European Commission sees microfinance as a valid instrument to contribute to poverty eradication in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With over € 200 millions engaged in a portfolio of 200 microfinance projects spread over 80 countries, the EC participates to the growth of the sector in developing countries. Its integrated 3 levels approach (micro-meso-macro) is aimed at providing financial security of the beneficiaries through the capacity building of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and further transparency in the sector, along with an enabling regulatory framework.
More information on the European approach for microfinance [752 KB] .
Financial services in ACP countries
The EU & ACP Microfinance Programmes
Thanks to the 9th and 10th European Development Funds (EDF), the EC and ACP States have been implementing Microfinance only programmes since 2005:
The ACP/EU Microfinance programme (2010-2014), contributes to the development of financial systems adapted to the poor in ACP countries.
The EU/ACP Microfinance programme (2005-2010), aimed at participating to the development of microfinance in ACP countries by strengthening the capacities of local microfinance actors.