Barclays, a UK-based international investment bank, and international development organizations CARE International (CARE) and Plan International (Plan) have joined together to launch a microfinance initiative with the goal of reaching 63,000 people in Ghana . The partnership between the three organizations was originally formed to improve access to basic savings and loan products. The initiative, begun in September 2008, aims to enable 500,000 poor and vulnerable people in ten countries across Africa, Asia and South America to access community-based financial services, such as village savings and loans associations. Barclays pledged to invest GBP 10 million (USD 15 million) over three years for the initiative . According to Benjamin Dabrah, the managing director of Barclays Bank Ghana, the project in Ghana will seek to create more than 4,000 community savings and loan groups over the three years in six regions: the Upper East and West, Northern, Central, Greater Accra and Volta regions. The goal of the project is to increase financial literacy, improve the quality of life and enhance household income .
Barclays Plc is a British bank with reported total assets of over GBP 1.4 trillion (USD 2.1 trillion) in 2009. CARE International (CARE) is an international non-governmental organization based in Switzerland with reported total assets of USD 952 million. Plan International (Plan) is a children’s development organization based in the UK with EUR 217 million (USD 290 million) in total assets in 2009.
By Conner Brannen, Research Assistant
Barclays Plc is a British bank, which dates back to 1690. It reported total assets of over GBP 1.4 trillion (USD 2.1 trillion) in 2009. The bank entered the microfinance sector in 2005 via a pilot program in Ghana. Barclays is developing a microfinance policy for the expansion of the bank’s microfinance activities in order to reach a greater portion of the population. Its goal is to create more financial inclusiveness through an adaptation of its own services to fit the specific areas where it operates.
About CARE International (CARE):
CARE International (CARE) is a Switzerland-based global non-governmental organization with poverty reduction programs aimed at developing women’s economic capabilities. Founded in 1945 and originally established as a means to send supplies to post-war Europe from America, it has evolved into a large-scale humanitarian organization. As of June 30, 2009, CARE supported approximately 800 projects in 72 countries to reach 59 million people. It reported total assets of USD 952 million at that time.
About Plan International (Plan):
Plan International (Plan) is a UK-based children’s development organization founded in 1940. It works in 48 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas with the goal of promoting child rights and lifting children out of poverty. Plan works with 3.5 million families each year. Plan has no religious, political or governmental affiliations. As of June 30, 2009, Plan had total assets of EUR 217 million (USD 290 million). Plan’s expenditure on programs was EUR 348 million (USD 466 million).
Sources and Additional Resources:
 Citifmonline.com: “PLAN, CARE & Barclays to take microfinance to 10 countries,” May 31, 2010: http://www.citifmonline.com/site/business/news/view/6545/3
 MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Barclays Bank and International Development Organizations CARE International and Plan International Launch Joint Microfinance Initiative in Kenya, April 13, 2010: http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-barclays-bank-and-interna…
 AllAfrica.com: “Barclays Launches Microfinance Partnership with Plan and Care,” May 29, 2010: http://allafrica.com/stories/201005310890.html
 MicroCapital Universe: Barclays: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Bar…
 MicroCapital Universe: CARE International (CARE): http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=CAR…
 MicroCapital Universe: Plan International (Plan):
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