Rural financeOver the last 30 years, microfinance has had an enormous impact on rural development. Groundbreaking institutions and models have emerged that are expanding financial services in new directions, using technology and innovations to serve more clients in increasingly remote communities, and offering them an ever-wider range of products.

But even with these dramatic gains, the vast majority of poor men and women still do not have reliable, secure ways to save money, protect and build assets, or transfer funds. In fact, the most basic formal financial services reach only ten per cent of rural communities.

Increasing access to financial services brings many challenges, including weak infrastructure, the limited capacity of financial service providers and low levels of client education. In a changing global economy and in the context of financial crises, volatile food and agricultural commodity prices, and the perils of climate change, rural finance is central to IFAD’s work. As of December 2012, IFAD’s ongoing investments in rural finance were approximately USD  909 million.

IFAD recognizes vast potential to improve the livelihoods of rural people by developing  by increasing their access to a wide range of financial services and sound institutions. With over 30 years of experience and as one of the leading microfinance funders worldwide, IFAD has the knowledge and partners to make significant strides in rural finance.

IFAD’s operations in rural finance are based on two key strategic documents:

IFAD has also produced number of publications and resources on a range of topics in rural finance.

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