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ADB approves 500-mln-USD loan to expand financial inclusion in Indonesia

Abstract : The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday that it has approved 500 million U.S. dollars in policy-based loans to support Indonesia's efforts to expand the financial access for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and marginalized groups such as women and youth.

MANILA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday that it has approved 500 million U.S. dollars in policy-based loans to support Indonesia’s efforts to expand the financial access for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises and marginalized groups such as women and youth.

The Manila-based bank said the Promoting Innovative Financial Inclusion Program will help the Indonesian government better target and track financial inclusion, improve the payments infrastructure, and strengthen the regulatory framework for digital financial services, data privacy, consumer protection, and financial literacy.

The program will push for more inclusive financial services in Indonesia, helping reduce poverty and inequality and support Indonesia’s long-term sustainable development, the ADB said.

Indonesia’s official data showed the percentage of Indonesian adults with a bank account rose from 35 percent in 2016 to 56 percent in 2018. However, in this regard, Indonesia still lags behind neighbors such as Malaysia and Thailand.

The ADB said providing financial services to all is challenging in a country as geographically and culturally diverse as Indonesia, and significant disparities remain in access to a range of financial products among regions and population groups.

Further, the ADB said financial vulnerabilities are worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, as those without access to financial services also tend to lack savings or credit to weather the economic downturn.

The ADB said its program supports the Indonesian government’s goal of increasing the number of Indonesians using financial products or services offered by formal financial institutions to 90 percent by 2022, up from 76 percent in 2019.

The World Health Organization reported that Indonesia has tallied 586,842 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Dec. 9, including 18,000 deaths, the highest in Southeast Asia. Enditem

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Source: ADB approves 500-mln-USD loan to expand financial inclusion in Indonesia

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