Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion

09 January 2014

Results of Latest CGAP Survey of International Funders of Financial Inclusion now Available

Washington, D.C., 9 January 2014: Funders committed at least $29 billion in 2012 to advance financial inclusion, according to the results of the 2013 CGAP Funders Survey. This is an estimated increase of 12 percent compared to 2011. Now in its sixth edition, the annual survey analyzes funding from both public funders (development finance institutions, multilateral, and bilateral funders) as well as private funders (foundations, institutional and individual investors). The survey findings were published as part of a report highlighting trends in international funding for financial inclusion. An infographic explains these findings and the underlying data set is publicly available.

Growth in public funding for financial inclusion, which represented over 70 percent of this global estimate, drove the overall increase over the past year. The survey findings indicate that donor governments increased their funding commitments by 16 percent between 2011 and 2012, despite continued pressure on public resources. Commitments from private funders to the sector grew at 2 percent during the same period.

“Given the challenging economic environment during the past few years, it is encouraging to see that financial inclusion continues to be a priority for donors,” said Ralitsa Rizvanolli, Director, Reporting Solutions at The Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) and co-author of the report.

By region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia ($4.7 billion) and South Asia ($3.4 billion) continue to receive most funding. However, for the first time, funding commitments to Sub-Saharan Africa ($2.7 billion) exceeded those to Latin America and the Caribbean ($2.2 billion). This indicates a shift in the regional priorities of funders, with Sub-Saharan Africa – home to the highest poverty levels in the world – likely to remain the focus region of funders’ future activities.

Source:, click for full infographic

The survey results also highlight that funding commitments remain focused on building retail financial services providers. Seventy-eight percent of commitments provide financing for retail providers’ portfolios and 10 percent focus on building their capacity. Debt financing continues to be the main funding instrument, with $12 billion committed in 2012, followed by equity financing, grants and guarantees.

“Although funders’ portfolios continue to focus on building financial services providers, 2.5 billion adults still lack access to formal financial services,” said Estelle Lahaye, Financial Sector Analyst at CGAP and co-author of the report. “The survey results raise questions about whether funders need to rethink their strategies and approaches to develop markets that will better serve poor people.”

Conducted annually since 2008, the CGAP Funders Survey is the most comprehensive source of analysis on international funding for microfinance and financial inclusion. In 2013, CGAP surveyed 22 international funders, which represent 86 percent of commitments reported the previous year.

For more information:
View the infographic
Explore the underlying data
Read the brief Trends in International Funding for Financial Inclusion

Media Contact:
Kai Bucher
+1 202 473 5995
[email protected]

About CGAP
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has access to the financial services they need to improve their lives.

CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Our global network of members includes over 30 development agencies, private foundations, and national governments that share a common vision of improving the lives of poor people with better access to finance. More at: