UNHCR, SIDA and the Foundation join forces for the inclusion of refugees


A programme for financial inclusion of refugees

Often perceived as risky clients, refugees are generally not or poorly assisted by financial service providers. However, their needs are very significant and the access to financing for income-generating activities can contribute largely to their social inclusion. To address this challenge, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation launched a programme to promote access to financial and non-financial services for refugees and host communities. The first phase of preliminary studies has just been accomplished.

The Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation was selected to manage the technical assistance of the programme and support its partner microfinance institutions to develop an offer of products and services properly adapted to refugee populations. Under the coordination of the Foundation, the consulting firm Microfinanza (Italy) carried out field missions to assess refugees’ financial and non-financial needs in Uganda and Jordan, the first two countries targeted by the programme.

A first evaluation on Uganda and Jordan

In Uganda, despite a structured refugee policy framework that tends to favor integration, job opportunities are limited. Approximately 1.5 million refugees currently live in the country and are concentrated mostly in rural areas where difficulties in access to employment and finance are even more significant.

In Jordan, 750 000 refugees have been registered so far. Nevertheless, due to regulatory constraints, refugees remain mostly excluded from the job market. In parallel, the local microfinance sector, still young comparing to other countries, does not have access to the resources needed to expand its existing range of services to benefit refugees population.

Within this context, the programme’s first study was carried out. Besides assessing the refugees’ financial needs, the study has also paved the way to set the most appropriate lines of action to address this challenge. Through financing and technical assistance, the second stage of the programme will seek to develop and enhance access to finance for refugees though the microfinance institutions supported by the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation.

Full Report (EN ): Jordanie – Ouganda
Executive Summary (EN) : JordanieOuganda

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For more information

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees. The organization delivers life-saving assistance, helps safeguard fundamental rights and develops solutions for the well-being of refugee populations. UNHCR works in 128 countries around the world on behalf of 71.4 million people.
//www.unhcr.org/ / @Refugees

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish Parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. Through its work and in cooperation with others, Sida contributes to implementing Sweden’s Policy for Global Development. Sida works in 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
www.sida.se / @Sida

Microfinanza is a company specialized in services and technical assistance related to the microfinance sector. Its mission is to contribute to the financial inclusion and participate in the development and professionalization of the sector. With more than 15 years of experience, Microfinanza provides a wide range of activities: consulting projects, training, evaluations and preparation of studies and researches.

Photo exhibition: Let’s change our vision:The Foundation’s 10th anniversary

A photo exhibition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Foundation

The Foundation was launched in 2008 under the joint leadership of the leaders of Crédit Agricole SA and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Grameen Trust, Pr. Muhammad Yunus to participate in the fight against poverty through the promotion of microfinance and social entrepreneurship. Today, with €77 million in commitments and over 70 partners in some 30 countries, this historic partnership will be honoured at the photo exhibition “Let’s change our vision, 10th anniversary of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation”.

Through pictures of clients of the microfinance institutions the Foundation supports, the exhibition reviews 10 years of work in favour of inclusive finance and shows the importance of microfinance and social entrepreneurship as socio-economic development levers.

The exhibition will be available from October 18th to November 30th at the Crédit Agricole campus in Montrouge and from 1st to 31st December at the Saint-Quentin campus.

A preview with the Foundation Friends Club

The preview of the exhibition will take place on the third meeting of the Foundation Friends Club on Thursday, October 18th from 17:30 to 19:00 at the Campus’ Forum of Credit Agricole in Montrouge. The Foundation Friends Club is a space open exclusively to Crédit Agricole (entities and Regional Banks) employees and directors interested in the Foundation’s activities and mission. It is a debate and information-sharing Club that will take part in the discussions about the synergies to exploit with the Group in the years to come. To date, the Club has over 150 members from the Group’s various business lines.

This meeting will be an opportunity to review two new projects launched this year by the Foundation and Crédit Agricole: “Solidarity Cents” and “Solidarity Banker”. Solidarity Cents is an operation launched in October at the collective restaurants of Crédit Agricole in Montrouge and Saint-Quentin to finance entrepreneurship projects. Solidarity Banker is a skill-based volunteer programme for the Group’s employees, on behalf of the Foundation’s partner institutions. It will also be an opportunity to discover the events that will take place in the campus of Montrouge during the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation Week in November.

Banquiers solidaires, the Crédit Agricole Group’s volunteer programme


Many Crédit Agricole Group employees volunteer for solidarity projects. To support this dynamic, the Group launched “CA Solidaires”, a programme that promotes employee commitment to projects with positive social impact. It is within this framework that a new commitment scheme is now proposed to the group’s employees: Solidarity Leaves. On the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA, skill-based voluntary missions carrying the “Banquier Solidaire” label are proposed to employees on behalf of microfinance institutions or “social business” companies, partners of the Foundation.

This is a unique partnership in the history of Crédit Agricole and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. With “Banquier Solidaire,” the Group and the Foundation are capitalizing on their synergies and stepping up their action in favour of sustainable finance. The objective is to provide additional advice and guidance for the microfinance and social businesses supported by the Foundation via pro bono missions carried out by the staff of the Crédit Agricole Group.

First missions in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cambodia

The first mission under the “Banquier Solidaire” programme was carried out in Burkina Faso, in cooperation with Crédit Agricole Assurances. Eduardo Cardoso de Miranda, an expert in borrowers insurance at CA Insurance, provided guidance and support for the Foundation during a due diligence exercise at CIF-VIE. Created in 2013 with the support of the RCPB, the main microfinance cooperative network in Burkina Faso, and the NGO ADA, CIF-VIE intervenes in the micro-insurance sector and holds 6% of the shares of the local market. Taking a new step in its growth at this time, CIF-VIE is opening its capital to new shareholders. Thanks to the contributions by CA Assurance, the Foundation has been able to get a better understanding of the structure and to assess the possibility of investing in it. The assessment of the CIF-VIE financing file is in progress.

A second mission was carried out in Senegal for the Laiterie du Berger, a social company in which the Foundation is a shareholder, which today supports over 800 Peuls stockbreeders in the north of the country. With the support of Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté (shareholder of the Laiterie du Berger), Jonathan Michaud, an agricultural engineer from the Regional Bank, embarked on a technical assistance mission for two weeks. The aim was to structure an operating framework to be able to go from experimentation to deployment for 15 pilot mini-farms of the Laiterie du Berger. As a result of the mission, an action plan was formalized and a more ambitious cooperation was planned between Crédit Agricole Franche Comté and the Laiterie du Berger.

In cooperation with Crédit Agricole’s International Retail Banking (BPI), a mission was held in September and October in favour of Chamroeun, a microfinance institution supported by the Foundation. François Galland, International Human Resources Manager, spent two weeks in the field to help improve the HR management of Chamroeun, a microfinance institution supported by the Foundation. The HR strategy that will be charted following the mission will be geared to providing support for the organisation restructuring of Chamroeun, which today serves over 25,200 clients in Cambodia, including 82% women.

Upcoming missions in Morocco and Kazakhstan

Before the end of 2018, two other missions could be launched in favour of Al-Karama in Morocco and KMF in Kazakhstan. Al-Karama today serves over 26,200 clients in Morocco. It should benefit from financing and technical assistance under a cooperation scheme by and between the Foundation and Crédit du Maroc, including a mission of “Banquier Solidaire” to improve its systems for the prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism. KMF is the largest microfinance institution in Kazakhstan with more than 220 000 active borrowers and a €257 million portfolio. KMF will welcome a Crédit Agricole expert to help it develop its products and services offering.

The commitment of the Crédit Agricole Group alongside the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation is being bolstered with “Banquier Solidaire,” which marks the commitment of the mutualist Group for a sustainable finance that promotes a more responsible and better-shared economy.

How to apply?

There are several missions pending for CA Solidaires. To discover them:

  • Go to the CA Solidaires website “Find your mission “
  • Enter “Grameen Foundation” in the search bar: All the Solidarity Leaves will appear!
  • Click on the offer of your choice and you will find all the information you need to apply.

For more information: carolina.herrera@credit-agricole-sa.fr

Solidarity: Crédit Agricole supports entrepreneurship projects in favour of refugees, single parents and homeless people

Promoting commitment from the Group’s employees

Many employees of the Crédit Agricole group are volunteering for solidarity projects. To provide guidance and support for this effort, the Group has launched “CA Solidaires,” a mechanism that enhances, supports and promotes the commitment of employees for projects that have a positive social impact. The “Centimes Solidaires” operation will be launched against this background at the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Crédit Agricole SA to finance entrepreneurship projects.

During one week per month, in October and November, the staff of the Crédit Agricole Campuses in Montrouge and Saint-Quentin will be invited to make a 50 cents donation when paying for their meals in the canteens of those campuses. Crédit Agricole SA, the Caisse Régionale Centre-Est and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation will contribute to the final amount collected. The total amount collected will go towards supporting “Programme France,” which has been set up by the French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde.

Support an inclusion programme through entrepreneurship

Implemented at the beginning of 2018 in the Lyon area, with the support of the Solidarités Foundation by Crédit Agricole Center-Est and Crédit Agricole Solidarité et Développement, Entrepreneurs du Monde’s “Programme France” provides a mechanism for restoring hope to people in a situation of financial vulnerability and social exclusion in France. Through collective training programmes and personalized advice and support for business creation, the programme is intended to support refugees, homeless people and single parents to create and develop their entrepreneurship projects.

The support offered is a three-step process: listening and orientation to assess the feasibility and relevance of the project, advice and support before and monitoring after the business is created. Various companies from grocery shops, to computer repair, fashion design, etc. will be supported within the framework of the programme, which has already provided guidance and support to 13 project holders to date. The aim for the years to come is to reach a larger number of beneficiaries, i.e. a total of 40 project holders by the end of 2019 and 50 in 2020.

The “Centimes Solidaires” operation is launched on the 10th anniversary of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation. The funds raised will be donated during an event bringing together the Group’s employees on November 19 in Montrouge.