The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation publishes its 2021 Integrated Report which retraces the highlights and key figures of the year. As of December 31, 2021, the Foundation managed €78.5 million in assets for 71 microfinance institutions and 10 social enterprises in 37 countries. Women’s entrepreneurship and the development of rural economies remain at the heart of the Foundation’s action: 90% of the 9.2 million beneficiaries of supported institutions are women and 81% live in rural areas.
To increase the resilience of our partners, we coordinated 130 technical assistance missions, the strongest activity in this area in the history of the Foundation. The African Facility developed with the French Development Agency, ended successfully, supporting since its launch 26 small microfinance institutions with a strong social vocation, in 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is within this context that the Foundation has decided to carry out a review of its technical assistance offer in 2021, eight years after the launch of its first missions, with the publication of “Our technical assistance system“.
Throughout the year, the Foundation pursued its quarterly surveys, allowing continuous monitoring of the impact of the health crisis on the microfinance sector. At the same time, the Foundation published, with ADA and Inpulse, a Covid-19 Report which brings together the lessons of this period and the future prospects for the sector. Thanks to this regular monitoring, our responses have been better adapted to each situation, combining new financing, technical assistance, rollovers and, very exceptionally, debt restructuring. The Foundation also continued to promote initiatives in favour of the protection of clients and staff of microfinance institutions.
The year was also marked by the renewed confidence of donors. The Foundation has benefited from a new grant from the European Investment Bank to promote financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have also launched a new programme to develop microinsurance in Africa and Asia with PROPARCO and the International Labor Organisation (ILO).
It also strengthened ties with the Crédit Agricole group, in particular via Banquiers Solidaires. With this skills volunteering scheme, open to all Group employees, the Foundation is strengthening its technical support for funded institutions and enterprises. This represents nearly 30 missions launched in favour of about twenty organisations since the inception of the programme in 2018.
The Foundation has also strengthened its climate commitments. It joined the Manifesto of the French Coalition of Foundations for the Climate and obtained funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support adaptation projects to climate change of partner institutions’ clients.