Usaid will provide an initial investment of over US$6m to launch a Feed the Future rural financial inclusion programme in Guatemala.
The programme, which will be implemented by the National Cooperative Business Association in the USA (NCBA Clusa), aims to support the new Guatemalan administration’s goal of increasing employment and improving living conditions in rural areas.
The announcement was made by the Usaid administrator, Samantha Power, on 15 January, while she was in Guatemala to attend the inauguration of President Arévalo.
The programme is part of Usaid’s $72.5m investment over three years in Guatemala through the US government’s Feed the Future initiative.
The country will also benefit from an additional $133.5m in fiscal year (FY) 2022 development funding recently announced for implementation of the Root Causes Strategy for Guatemala.
“By enhancing financial literacy, establishing partnerships with financial institutions, and helping financial service providers reach underserved rural markets with better, tailored products, the project aims to help rural Guatemalans overcome common financial access constraints and will encourage investment in the agriculture sector to improve food security and resilience. The project will focus specifically on vulnerable or underserved populations, particularly women, youth and indigenous communities,” read the Usaid statement.
The agency aims to help micro, small, and medium enterprises and farmers to access and manage credit and harness remittances sent back to Guatemala to aid in community-level social and economic development.
“By expanding access to financial services, this program will allow farmers and agribusinesses to increase their incomes and food production, and adopt climate smart agricultural practices that will help them become more resilient to shocks,” added Usaid.
“This programme contributes to our economic development efforts under Central America Forward, specifically to build capacity in small- and medium-sized enterprises and assist them to access financing for new investment.”