We are pleased to report that the UK’s Department For International Development (DFID) has launched a public consultation on their proposed Microfinance Capacity Building Facility for Sub-Saharan Africa (MICFAC). This is a new funding facility that is being set up jointly with DFID and the World Bank, and is likely to be millions of dollars in size.
Those who took part in our recent August action (see here) will know all about this facility and will have already written to Andrew Mitchell (Secretary of State for International Development) and Robert Zoellick (President of the World Bank) on this issue, explaining to them why it is so important that it have poverty alleviation built into its core operating principles.
We were happy to report earlier that initial responses from Stephen O’Brien were positive and supported our call for a poverty focus. That there is now a public consultation is another opportunity for us to reinforce the message.We would like to encourage submissions to this consultation, as it is an excellent way of capturing letters to DFID in a formal process that will influence the final design of MICFAC.
If you would like to add your thoughts to the consultation and read the in-depth background documents DFID has prepared, you can do this here.
As a reminder, RESULTS is keen that this facility has a strong poverty focus, and that a powerful way of doing this is to ensure that social performance indicators are a core part of how the facility works.
In addition, it will make sense that this facility also make capacity building investments in micro insurance, particularly micro crop insurance. We heard from Richard Leftley (CEO of MicroEnsure) on our monthly call in October how a lack of trained staff was one of the critical constraints on the scale-up of micro crop insurance. With micro crop insurance being a key part of what is needed to unlock rural credit for poor farmers it makes absolute sense to also bring this to DFID’s attention so this lack of staff trained in micro crop insurance can be addressed by this facility.
As always, if you would like any assistance in making a submission you can feel free to contact the office – but be quick: the consultation finishes on November the 30th.