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Support to Financial Inclusion in Lesotho
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Project document

Brief Description:
The overall objective of the programme is to improve and expand access to sustainable financial services in urban and rural areas. The specific focus group is the low segment of the market, particularly women. By enhancing access to micro-financing the programme is supporting entrepreneurial activities, job and livelihood creation as well as achievement of the MDGs.

Support to Financial Inclusion in Lesotho (SUFIL) is a joint programme between UNDP and UNCDF with the Government of Lesotho. The programme with support the  Government of Lesotho  and  related stakeholders to  strategically and effectively address the gaps and bottlenecks that have impeded so far financial inclusion in Lesotho.  In that respect, the Programme will strive to address the critical gaps identified in the sector diagnosis and complement existing donors and Government initiatives and support to the sector at macro, meso and micro levels, through selected strategic interventions. 

At the Macro level, the programme will improve the Inclusive Finance Regulatory and Policy Environment by:

        Providing sound advisory services to Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to  effectively coordinate and lead the building process of Inclusive Financial Sector, and  exercise its leadership;

        Supporting the implementation and institutionalization of the newly created National Microfinance Forum to increase sector coordination and improve policy dialogue;

         Participating to the technical discussions on the drafting of the microfinance regulatory Framework and on the formulation of the national policy for financial inclusion.

At the Meso level, the programme will contribute to the strengthening of the supportive meso financial Infrastructure by:

         Strengthening the capacity of the Technical Service Providers;

        Negotiating and implementing a consumer education programme in partnership with the  Microfinance Forum, the Central Bank, UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and the Coalition of Client Protection;

         Establishing a microfinance resource for the industry, including a sector data base meant to track progress and performance of financial service providers.

At the Micro level, the programme will contribute to the improvement and acceleration of access to a broader range of financial services by:

        Assisting potential financial service providers to transform into microfinance deposit taking institutions or launch leading start-ups;

        Enhancing transparency and performance monitoring of key financial service providers.

Project Period:

2010 - 2012

Location:

National

Status:

On-Going

UNDP Programme Officer:

Mr. Karabo Sekants'i

UNDAF outcome:

National Institutions able to implement sustainable pro poor economic development, environmental management and household food security policies and strategies with special focus on vulnerable groups including women, young men and women and the disabled.

Participating UN Agencies:

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

Management Arrangement:

National Implementation

Implementing Partner:

Ministry of Finance and Development Planning

Budget and Sources:

UNDP: US$450,000

UNCDF: US$800,000

Government of Lesotho: US$210,000

Central Bank of Lesotho : US$ 95,000

Unfunded budget : US$2,530,000

Total: US$ 4,085,000

RUFIP (IFAD/GoL) parallel funding: US$10,700,000

Contact:  Ms. Judith Atala
karabo.sekantsi@undp.org

 
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