Habitat for Humanity Canada and The MasterCard Foundation partner to expand access to housing microfinance in Africa
Monday, October 1, 2012
ACCRA, Ghana, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ – Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity International (collectively “Habitat”) and The MasterCard Foundation today announced the launch of a $6.6 million, five-year partnership to expand microfinance services to maintain and improve homes for disadvantaged families in three African countries.
An estimated 1.6 billion people live in sub-standard shelter around the world, a circumstance that is compounded by dysfunctional formal housing markets that rarely include services for low-income populations. Developer-built, bank-financed homes are rare in Africa, typically serving far fewer than five percent of households in most African countries.
The Habitat and The MasterCard Foundation partnership will reach people in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda who cannot access formal financial institutions. It will build the capacity of nine local financial institutions already serving the poor to diversify their products to meet shelter-related needs. Financial institutions will offer a bundled package of financial and housing support services, a unique approach that will be tested for scale and growth.
“In the last 30 years, small-scale financial services have helped millions of people increase their food security, educate their children, grow their businesses and build their assets,” said Stewart Hardacre, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “Making microfinance loans more accessible for housing will further transform lives and help families build the foundation for a better future.”