NBT and IFC
IFC (International Finance Corporation), the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) and partner financial institutions take stock of the first three years of the Program of Increasing Financial Literacy in Tajikistan.
According to IFC Dushanbe Office, the implementation of the program on increasing financial literacy of the population started by IFC in Tajikistan in 2014, with the financial support of the Government of Switzerland represented by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
One of the most important areas of the Swiss Government’s assistance program is to support the implementation of the principles of responsible financing and the stability of the financial market.
Presently, the Program has 15 partner financial organizations operating in all regions of the country. Each of the Program partners received a package of tools, including training modules, video materials, household income and expenditure tracking tools, visual aids in the form of comics, and a series of video and audio clips to increase the financial literacy of the population. In addition, more than 1,800 employees of these financial organizations underwent trainings on community counseling.
The following are the most important results of the Program: more than 15,000 people have been trained, among them 6,700 are women. According to the results of the first half of 2017, the partners provided consultations to more than 300,000 people throughout the country. These results demonstrate the active involvement of banks and microfinance organizations of Tajikistan in the process of increasing the financial literacy of the population and the interest of citizens to acquire new knowledge and skills.
The NBT is one of the key partners of the Program, taking an active part in disseminating financial literacy materials among the population. The NBT presented the results of activities on financial literacy and noted the importance of increasing the level of financial education of population for the financial sector in general, suggesting to incorporate the financial literacy component into the Strategy of Development of Tajikistan for the period until 2030.
It should be noted that the NBT fully supports the program of raising the level of financial literacy of population, facilitating the accessibility and dissemination of this knowledge among users of financial services. In addition, the NBT actively works towards raising the population’s awareness of non-cash payment systems and supports initiatives aimed at increasing the level of population’s engagement, in such areas as electronic and digital financial services.
Jointly with the existing financial organizations, they reportedly developed materials that take into account local cultural aspects and cover the most important areas of responsible and reasonable use of financial products and services by the population. For instance, an impact evaluation of the financial literacy program has shown a 6% increase in the number of people with savings (40% in 2017 compared to 34% in 2013), while nearly 4% more respondents noted that they meet their budget goals.
Within its cooperation strategy for 2012-2015, Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan: healthcare, the rule of law, water supply and sanitation, and private sector development. The goal of Swiss cooperation in Tajikistan is to support the country’s transition process by contributing to economic development and by helping build institutions and systems that are responsive to the population’s needs.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. In FY16, IFC’s long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging its capital, expertise, and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.