Financial Inclusion for the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI)

Financial Inclusion for the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI)

Financial Inclusion for the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI) is a regional platform created amid growing demand from member institutions from the Arab Region for tailored solutions to regional financial inclusion issues. It was launched by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), German International Cooperation (GIZ), and AFI at the 2017 Global Policy Forum (GPF) and later joined by the World Bank as a technical partner.

Nine AFI member institutions are part of the FIARI:

  • Autorité de Contrôle de la Microfinance de la République Tunisienne (Tunisia)
  • Bank Al-Maghrib (Morocco)
  • Banque Centrale de Syrie (Syria)
  • Banque Centrale de Tunisie (Tunisia)
  • Central Bank of Egypt (Egypt)
  • Central Bank of Jordan (Jordan)
  • Central Bank of Yemen (Yemen)
  • Ministère des Finances de la République Tunisienne (Tunisia)
  • Palestine Monetary Authority (Palestine)

The initiative aims to accelerate policies and actions that enhance access to financial services in the Arab region through effective coordination mechanisms and supporting the implementation of national financial inclusion policies. FIARI uses financial inclusion as a driving force for sustainable economic and social development, aligned with the range of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). It acts as a coordination platform that enables financial inclusion advocacy, capacity building, peer-learning, knowledge development and in-country technical implementation support among central banks and financial authorities in the region.

Greater access to and use of formal financial services in the Arab region would empower roughly 70 percent of adults, mostly women, and four out of five businesses, helping to bring them into the formal economy and boost sustainable development.

Achievements:

The Arab region has played a central role in advancing AFI’s vision of making financial services more accessible to the world’s unbanked. Some of the achievements by FIARI members include:

“FIARI will enable [AFI] to engage in the region, to learn from each other on important issues such as financial inclusion for forcibly displaced persons, women’s financial inclusion but also SME finance. These are important issues and regulators can make a difference” – AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig.

“As we show the will to join forces under FIARI and foster knowledge, we reinforce our commitment to financial inclusion and thus to addressing some of the region’s most urgent challenges such as youth unemployment and women’s economic exclusion” – GIZ Head of Europe, Mediterranean and Central Asia Ute Klamert.

“FIARI is a key driver in promoting financial inclusion, translating the willingness of the Arab Monetary Fund to strengthen technical assistance and capacity development in support of member countries and their efforts in making financial services available to all Arab societies.” H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board, the Arab Monetary Fund.

Focus Areas

  • Strengthen the cooperation between financial and telecommunication regulators on digital financial services (DFS).
  • Deepen the understanding of policy and regulatory approaches that enhance innovative cross-border remittances in Africa.
  • Promote DFS for agricultural micro, small and medium enterprises and deepen the understanding of policy reforms to support agricultural finance
  • Promote inclusive policies for women and the adoption of regulations and financial consumer protection frameworks to advance women’s economic participation.

© Alliance for Financial Inclusion 2009-2021