Insurance giant MetLife has just announced the launch of a campaign to support financial programs in underserved communities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the U.S. Committing $200 million over 5 years, the campaign focuses on increasing knowledge and access to affordable financial services that enable people to protect and improve their lives. “Our goal,” says chairman, president and CEO of MetLife, Inc., Steven A. Kandarian, “is to ensure that low-income families and communities have access to the tools and resources they need to put them on the path to financial security.”
With well over 2 billion people living without access to basic financial services, the need for these services is great, and the task can at times, seem daunting. “People in poverty manage what little they have with tremendous ingenuity and resourcefulness,” notes Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation, however, seeing the opportunity to develop an infrastructure that will improve security, social mobility and self-reliance. “Many are low-wage workers, microentrepreneurs and small-scale farmers, and we’re convinced that access to modern financial know-how and a range of services that fit their needs can transform their lives.”
Included in the first round of grantees are organizations such as ACCION International, Corporation for Enterprise Development, The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Pro Mujer and Women’s World Banking. The grantees were chosen for their ability to work with large numbers of households to develop financial strategies and resources, and deliver financial services such as savings, microinsurance, and credit to communities that currently have little or no access.