17 May 2021

Jean-Marie Sander, Chairman of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation until March 2021 and
Raphaël Appert, Chairman, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, as of March 2021 and Vice-Chairman of Crédit Agricole SA and
Fédération Nationale du Crédit Agricole [National Federation of Crédit Agricole]

Just over 30 years ago, Michel Serres shared with us the need for a «Natural Contract» similar to the «Social Contract» which called for a reconciliation between man, nature and the living. 2020 was a terrible year for fragile economies.

The sound health of the Foundation, which has adapted to the economic effects of this crisis throughout the year, is not a mirror image of the dramas that have played out and are still playing out in the territories of our partners, where social shock absorbers are almost non-existent. Faced with the pandemic and its impact on daily life, family solidarity was often the rare relief very low-income populations could rely on.

Although its anthropocentric origin has yet to be demonstrated, this health crisis beckons us to become aware that we are part of nature, reminds us of our humility in the face of the natural order, and entrusts us with the task of not only developing but also of maintaining humanity.

The economic effects of the pandemic have affected the whole world but more particularly vulnerable populations: according to World Bank figures, 150 million people could be pushed rapidly into extreme poverty. For our part, we will avoid complacency about a probable ability to regain a semblance of economic growth, which we all know will not reach the most fragile populations quickly and evenly.

In this economic recovery, the Foundation will mobilise all its efforts in 2021, as there is still much to be done to try and change the mechanism that creates inequalities in the face of tragedy. We shall to that end have to rely on our professionalism, our determination and the values that guide our daily action.

It was with this ambition that we created the Foundation with Professor Yunus in 2008. It is still with this same ambition that we will continue to commit ourselves in the months to come.