EU, IFAD Launch PRIME To Boost Financial Inclusion In Central Asia

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News in Brief:
– The EU and IFAD launch PRIME Central Asia Initiative to enhance digital remittances’ impact in rural economies.
– With a €6 million budget, the initiative aims to empower marginalised groups and drive innovation in accessing financial services, fostering sustainable development in Central Asia.

In a bid to amplify financial inclusion and fortify the impact of digital remittances in Central Asia, the European Union (EU) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have joined forces to inaugurate the Platform for Remittances, Investment, and Migrants’ Entrepreneurship (PRIME) Central Asia Initiative.

This groundbreaking endeavor, spanning Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, aims to leverage remittances – the lifeblood of many rural economies – to bolster local communities and foster sustainable development.

Highlighting the pivotal role of remittances, Marilyn Josefson, EU Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, emphasised their potential to invigorate rural economies and fortify local livelihoods. Pedro de Vasconcelos, IFAD’s Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances, underscored that over 50% of remittances directly benefit rural households, serving as a lifeline against economic volatility and climate-related adversities.

PRIME Central Asia

With over 1 billion people worldwide engaged in international remittances, the initiative comes at a crucial juncture, where global flows surpass a staggering US$669 billion annually.

In Central Asia, remittances often eclipse other income sources, particularly in rural regions. In 2023, migrants from the region remitted over US$24 billion back home, constituting a significant portion of their respective GDPs.

Endowed with a €6 million budget for 2024-2027, PRIME Central Asia aims to democratise access to remittances, especially through digital channels, while fostering entrepreneurship among migrant returnees. By building on the success of PRIME AFRICA, the initiative endeavors to bridge the financial divide and unlock opportunities for marginalized groups, including women and youth.

Central to the initiative’s ethos is the harnessing of fintech solutions and forging partnerships with the private sector to extend financial services to remote rural areas. Moreover, PRIME Central Asia will serve as a catalyst for policy dialogue and stakeholder collaboration, with a focus on bolstering regulatory frameworks and fostering synergies for impactful interventions.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.

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