|| Citi supports Innovative ‘Financial Education for the Poor’ Initiative
Islamabad – in line with its commitment to the promotion and development of microfinance as a viable tool in poverty alleviation, Citigroup has sponsored an 8-day ‘Training of Trainers’ workshop that aims to spread basic financial training amongst low-income households.
Called ‘The Financial Education for the Poor Project’ or FEP, the program is led by international NGO’s ‘Microfinance Opportunities’ and ‘Freedom from Hunger’ with exclusive funding by Citigroup.
Scheduled from April 3-12 2007 in Islamabad, the FEP workshop aims to improve the ability of the poor to manage their personal finances by disseminating a toolkit of financial education modules for microfinance clients in developing countries like Pakistan. FEP is currently seeking organizations to become part of the Global Financial Education for the Poor Network. As part of this network, organizations will participate in a Training of Trainers Workshop where they will learn how to train other organizations and implement a financial education program using the FEP curriculum. The training will be disseminated to eleven participating organizations including the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), Tameer Bank, Rural Support Programs Network (RSPN), Shore Bank, USAID and Pakistan Microfinance Network.
Pakistan is the fifth country to be targeted for the Training of Trainers program where participants in the FEP Training of Trainers Workshop will learn about financial education, develop skills in adult learning and facilitation, examine the FEP curriculum in detail, and acquire the necessary tools and skills to train other organizations in the FEP curriculum. Other country trainings have been held in Philippines and Uganda and regional trainings for Latin America and Asia were held in Peru and Indonesia.
The program was inaugurated by Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Shamshad Akhtar in the presence of Managing Director & Country Officer Pakistan Zubyr Soomro and other members of the Citigroup team.
Speaking at the occasion Zubyr Soomro said, "we are committed to augmenting the Government’s efforts in developing the local microfinance sector; by facilitating basic financial education training, we hope to generate awareness of financial services among microentrepreneurs and contribute to the long term growth of their businesses”
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar iterated the significance of microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation and the important role microentrepreneurs play in the overall economy. She lauded Citigroup for its sustained efforts in this regard and said “Citigroup has always initiated training programs with the intention of timely transfer of its expertise; this is another incidence where their commitment to the local banking sector is evident”
Danielle Hopkins, Financial Education Manager of Microfinance Opportunities in Washington DC, said "We are delighted to introduce this program in Pakistan. It's stage one in what we hope is a long-term campaign. During the workshop we will build the capacity of local organizations to customize the learning modules to their context and then train other organizations within Pakistan in financial education. This cascade training approach will facilitate a sustainable strategy to increasing the outreach of financial education throughout Pakistan."
Citi has been present in Pakistan since 1961. In its 45 year presence in the country, the bank has evolved into an active player and a trusted banking partner in the local market, evident in the strong relationships it currently enjoys across various corporate segments. Citi has also been an active corporate citizen especially in the local microfinance sector in Pakistan through grants to established MFIs and special programs including the recently concluded Micro Entrepreneurship Awards Program.
Notes to the editor:
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Major brand names under Citi's trademark red arc include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Citi Smith Barney and Banamex. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
Certain statements in this document are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from those included in these statements due to a variety of factors. More information about these factors is contained in Citigroup’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Microfinance Opportunities was established in 2002 as a microenterprise resource center to promote customer-focused microfinance. For more information, go to www.microfinanceopportunities.org
Freedom from Hunger, founded in 1946, ensures that poor people have access to microfinance, health protection services, and life skills training to achieve food security for their families. For more information, go to www.ffhresource.org.
For further information, kindly contact:
Aine Imran Shah
Public Affairs Officer
Citi, AWT Plaza, I. I. Chundrigar Road
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