Australia’s AusAID and IDB’s MIF establish Latin America partnership fund for financial inclusion

Australia to contribute A$10 million for poverty reduction projects in Latin America

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) has established a partnership trust fund with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance innovative poverty reduction projects in Latin America, the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) announced today.

Under the agreement, AusAID is contributing A$10 million (approximately US$10.2 million) to the trust fund and the MIF will match the Australian contribution. The AusAID-MIF partnership will give priority to the poorest countries of this region. Technical assistance grants from the trust fund will focus on financial inclusion projects that help historically disadvantaged populations and other groups lacking access to tools to overcome poverty, such as financial services, skills training, effective farming technologies or basic services.

Established in 1974, AusAID manages the Australian Government’s overseas aid program, which focuses on poverty reduction and sustainable development. AusAID’s operations are strongly focused in the Asia-Pacific region, but also extend to Africa and more recently to Latin America. Commencing in 2009, AusAID’s first operation in Latin America was to support a program with the MIF to provide business training to 100,000 women microentrepreneurs in Peru.

The MIF, a member of the IDB Group, promotes poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean through private sector development, with an emphasis on microenterprises and small businesses. Established in 1992, the MIF pioneered many of the innovations that led to the rapid growth of microfinance in this region.