For the last 30 years, FINCA has been dedicated to providing financial services and employment for those who need it most and now, the United Nations recognizes them as worthy sustainable goals to help improve lives around the world.
Two months ago, the UN released its final report on progress on the Millennial Development Goals (MDGs). The bottom line –progress towards meeting the MDGs helped to lift 1 billion out of poverty but great inequality still exists. On September 25, a new set of goals will be released – the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. The 17 new goals frame the agenda for UN member policies to ensure global progress on issues like poverty, education and the environment by 2030. A key difference between the SDGs and its predecessor, the MDGs, is that access to financial services and promoting employment will be added to the goal list.
Goal #8 seeks to “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.” And it is no surprise why the UN is recognizing the need the focus on employment. From 2007 to 2012, global unemployment increased from 170 million to nearly 202 million, including about 75 million are young women and men. Between 2016 and 2030, nearly 470 million jobs need to be added to the global market to support new entrants to the workforce.
The new SDG framework also recognizes the importance of promoting financial inclusion (the delivery of financial services to low-income people). More than 2 billion people in the world lack access to basic financial services, like savings accounts, loans or insurance products.
When poor people have access to financial services, they can earn more, build their assets and cushion themselves against external shocks. Not only can financial services provide budding entrepreneurs with the opportunity to create jobs for themselves, but they can ensure that growing microenterprises will provide opportunities for others in the community to earn income as well.