Project extends financial literacy to refugees

Thursday June 25 2020

World Food Programme (WFP) Policy officer

World Food Programme (WFP) Policy officer Stephan Deutscher said financial literacy would give refugees in Uganda an opportunity to support their families. PHOTO | FILE  

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Arrangements have been finalised to extend financial literacy to refugees to enable them to productively spend their monies and get support in investment.

Under the arrangement, a financial literacy toolkit has been developed to teach refugees financial basics of saving for investment to make them self-reliant.

World Food Programme (WFP) Policy officer Stephan Deutscher said financial literacy would give refugees in Uganda an opportunity to support their families.

“WFP seeks to support unbanked and underserved people who face different types of vulnerabilities to become respected economic actors who are empowered to meet their essential needs in local markets,” said Mr Deutscher describing financial literacy as a driver towards ensuring financial inclusion for refugees.

Speaking at the launch of the financial literacy toolkit in Kampala, Mr Deutscher said that there is need for basic financial and numerical literacy levels to reduce the financial risks among refugees and the host communities across the country.

According to Mr Deutscher, the food security agency involvement in the financial literacy arrangement is a result of many development partners extending support through cash based systems which require proper budgeting.

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The head of Financial Inclusion Division at Bank of Uganda, Mr Alex Ochan, said the Central Bank considers financial literacy as a demand side of financial inclusion.

“We consider it in line with consumer protection because it reduces the burden of the regulator against certain elements in the financial sector,” said Mr Ochan revealing that financial literacy stands at 24 per cent.

Uganda hosts more than 1.4 million refugees in urban centres and 28 refugee settlements across the country.

A 2018 report by FinScope shows only 13 per cent of the refugees surveyed in Bidi Bidi refugee settlement can access formal credit with most of them depending on informal groups.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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