FIR (the Fund for Inclusive Finance in Rural Areas) is a Crédit Agricole impact fund which promotes financial inclusion in developing countries by financing rural microfinance institutions. As at 31 December 2020, FIR registered subscriptions from 21 Regional Banks , Amundi and CA Assurances for a total of €9.75 million, supporting 5 microfinance institutions that serve nearly 80,000 low-income people in Africa, Asia and Europe.
In 2020, due to the Covid-19 crisis, a close follow-up was carried out with the organisations financed by the FIR in order to adjust the support to each organisation. Among the measures, an international coalition was created, at the initiative of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation -FIR’s advisor-, to protect microfinance institutions and their clients against the consequences of the crisis.
Around thirty investors and key players of the sector, including CA Indosuez Wealth (Asset Management) -FIR’s manager-, have committed themselves to this coalition and are coordinating the granting of maturity extensions, technical assistance and information sharing in order to avoid a liquidity crisis in the sector and strengthen the resilience of microfinance institutions in this complex period.
The full report is available here (in French)