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FDB Receives ADFIAP Award
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29 May 2013
In recognition of the developmental impact of FDB’s social banking facility
(SBF) on enabling greater financial inclusion in Fiji, the
Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the
Pacific (ADFIAP) has awarded FDB a special Plaque of Merit at its
annual Outstanding Development Project Awards which honours
ADFIAP members who have undertaken and/or assisted projects that
have created a development impact in their respective countries.
The Fiji Development Bank with the Rural Development Bank of
Cambodia were given the special acknowledgement for the Financial
Inclusion category presented recently at the 36th ADFIAP Annual
Meeting in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
 
“When I was informed that we had been given this plaque of merit for
financial inclusion, I was pleasantly surprised and wasn’t quite sure what
to think knowing that we had a challenging time getting the social
banking facility to work as we envisioned it,” said FDB’s chief executive
officer, Mr. Deve Toganivalu.
 
 “The purpose of the SBF was to provide cash to alleviate short and long
term financial burdens through the implementation of enterprise for
alternative livelihoods with the long term view of alleviating poverty.
 
“Directly, the SBF would help Fiji towards achieving the first millennium
development goal (MDG) which is to Eradicate Extreme Poverty and
Hunger and indirectly; the MDG 7, Ensuring Environmental
Sustainability by means of enterprise which would translate into
improved livelihoods and in turn, improving access to life essentials such
as clean drinking water.”
 
At the culmination of this facility, in 2010 FDB had a total of 1,871
accounts valued at FJD$6.65MM (USD$3.70MM) – this was equivalent
to 28% of the bank’s account portfolio by number and 1.52% by value.
FDB currently supervises 572 active accounts under the facility valued at
$ 2.14MM.
 
“The provision of the social banking facility did illustrate for us in
retrospect, just how critical social capital is in the alleviation of poverty.
For example, those borrowing for agricultural purposes; a lease or title
was not required but having access to the land was critical and this is
where the consensus of the mataqali or the clan was important
particularly for indigenous land,” Mr. Toganivalu said.
“Similarly, for the non-indigenous or non-clan members, if they wanted
to plant on indigenously owned land, a written consent from landowners
was all that was required. This is what we call vakavanua (literally, by
the land arrangement) or an informal land arrangement.
 
 “For us in the Pacific islands, our wealth is bound in social capital and
the challenge we find as financiers is recognizing just how important this
is to advancing economic interests.”

 

Click to see press release 

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