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Citi Foundation launches $11.2 million microfinance program

Citi Foundation has announced a new three-year $11.2 million international grant named, Citi Network Strengthening Program, to advance the integration of microfinance into the mainstream economies of developing countries.

According to Citi, the program will increase the ability of 12 major microfinance networks and their members to develop products and services that meet the needs of their clients. In addition, the program aims to enhance the industry’s infrastructure, introduce higher standards of management and governance, and promote the vital role of microfinance in providing the poor with access to financial services.

In Asia Pacific, the program will be run in partnership with the Banking With The Poor Network, the Foundation for Development Cooperation, and the program’s global partner, the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion Network. It will expand the Citi Foundation’s support of the microfinance industry in the region through grants for capital, training and technical assistance.

Robert Morse, CEO of markets and banking business at Citi Asia Pacific, said: We are pleased to expand our partnership with these very important microfinance organizations at what we believe is a critical juncture for the industry. This initiative will help the industry to achieve the strength and scale required to substantially expand the reach of microfinance to the poor.