financial inclusion

[Annual General Assembly] NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva

NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva

The NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva invites you to attend its virtual meeting on April 20, 2021. If you are a member of the Committee you will have received the invitation to the meeting, including the virtual link to the meeting.

If you are not yet a member of the Committee and are interested in its work and meetings, please email the Chair of the Committee, Silvia Perel-Levin at ngoageing@gmail.com.

Join via Zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81479132014

Please go to the link only at the time of the meeting, 13:30 – 15:30 Geneva time.

Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/ageinggeneva
and Twitter: @NgoAgeing

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Grassroots Community-Based Research Findings: “Asks” to Strengthen Social Protection, Digital & Financial Inclusion, and Climate Finance in a Post-COVID-19 Era

Grassroots Community-Based Research Findings: “Asks” to Strengthen Social Protection, Digital and Financial Inclusion, and Climate Finance in a Post-COVID-19 Era

Register HERE by 5:00 pm EST on April 14

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a global framework for financing sustainable development by aligning all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities. The Paris Agreement provides the roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience. Together they provide the most important global frameworks for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic tell us the frameworks have not translated effectively to those who need it the most.

This side event presents a critical look at how adequate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement have been to meet their avowed goals at the grassroots level and effective compliance by Member States. It also presents the impact on Social Protection, Financial Inclusion and Climate Finance looking through the principle of “Leaving No One Behind.” Primary data that was gathered by field surveys conducted in 7 countries regarding Social Protection, Financial Inclusion and Climate Finance both before and during the pandemic forms the basis for policy “asks” to strengthen Social Protection, Financial Inclusion and Climate Finance. It will provide an opportunity to engage in “Hearing People’s Voices” impacted by the lack of adequate funding for social protection, financial inclusion and climate financing and reeling under the economic, social and health crisis caused by the pandemic.

Tentative Program Agenda:

  • Financing for Sustainable Development Office to share its perspective on status of delivering on commitments made under Addis Ababa Action Agenda including social protection, financial inclusion, and climate finance
  • Introduction to the Project & Presentation of Review Project Implementation & Survey Findings
  • Enumerator’s Experience from the field – 3 enumerators from 3 different countries / continents to share their experience during the survey
  • Access to Social Protection, Financial Inclusion, Climate Finance Pre- Covid 19 – Voices from the ground – 3 respondents from 3 different countries / continents to share their access to Social Protection, Digital and Financial Inclusion, Climate Finance before and during Covid
  • Response from Misean Cara
  • Responses from member states
  • Recommendations

Moderator: Anita Thomas – Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsoring organizations: NGO Committee on Financing for Development, Salesian Missions Inc., Misean Cara, Man Up Campaign, Congregation of Our Lady of the Good Shepherd, STARTNOO, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (Women First International Fund), Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maryknoll Sisters, United Religions Initiative, Salesians of Don Bosco, Ireland

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

Digital and Financial Inclusion: Pathways to promote an inclusive Post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery

Virtual side event during the 2021 ECOSOC FfD Forum on Financing for Development

Date & time: April 12 from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm EST

Register in advance for this meeting (by 5:00pm EST on April 11): https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcOGopj4tE9OFujGTOC3FTT_-z2aMJ0Sr

World Bank data (September 2020) indicates that 212 countries have planned, introduced, or put in place 1179 safety net payments and other social protection measures for the most vulnerable populations. But reports also show that digital exclusion and lack of access to a bank account, in the form of a transactional or savings account or a digital wallet, continues to pose immense challenges for those in marginalized communities, especially women youth, refugees, and migrant workers in the informal sector, to recoup benefits from government relief measures such as cash transfers and subsidies, the very measures intended to help tide them over, in a quick and timely manner. Women continue to face widespread barriers to financial inclusion. Globally, of the 1.7 billion people that remain unbanked, meaning they do not hold an account at a bank or a mobile bank provider, approximately 1 billion are women and in developing countries. The 9% gender gap that existed over the last decade continues to persist.

While businesses are increasingly offering consumers the option to transact through online and mobile platforms, two major barriers prevent consumers from adopting these digital options: lack of internet connectivity (digital exclusion) and or lack of a bank account to receive or make payments (financial exclusion). In addition, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face considerable challenges in accessing digital financial services and credit, inclusive insurance schemes and online payment systems and retail platforms that will be keys for their survival in the post-COVID era.

Digital financial inclusion is ever more critical for marginalized communities, especially women, youth, refugees and informal migrant workers, to recover from the crisis and to ensure the survival and sustainability of MSMEs. Long-term risks and barriers of entry, including lack of access to Smartphone services due to marginalized populations’ inabilities to engage in contracts, complex lending practices, especially among women, poor digital literacy and financial literacy and numeracy skills, and lack of valid identification for refugees forced to leave all personal possessions behind, to name but a few, are significant obstacles that could cause more harm than good if not effectively managed. The Global community must act now to bridge the gaps and barriers restricting the world’s most vulnerable populations from meeting their financial needs.

Implementing appropriate regulatory measures in a timely manner is essential for consumer protection and to ensure the funds reach those whom it is intended for. In the July 1, 2020 Special Series Notes on COVID-19 of the International Monetary Fund, experts noted that while the need for social distancing has put a spotlight on digital financial services, scaling up too fast in times of crisis without appropriate regulatory mechanisms could pose a risk to stability and integrity.

The panel will explore the interlinkages between financial and digital inclusion, innovative advancement in fintech and digital infrastructure to advance last-mile connectivity and address the challenges to financial inclusion faced by marginalized communities and MSMEs, as well as propose measures to address regulatory challenges, and disparities in broadband connectivity.

Panelists:

  • Member State representative (TBC)
  • Ms. Lois, Bruu, Vice President, Humanitarian and Development, Master Card Speaking on innovative initiatives to advance digital financial inclusion for marginalized communities, especially women, and MSMEs and recommendations to address financial, economic, structural, and regulatory barriers to advancing financial inclusion for all
  • Ms. Purva Khera, Economist, International Monetary Fund Interlinkages between digital and financial inclusion, financing challenges and advancement in fintech to address the challenges faced by MSMEs and marginalized communities, including women
  • Mr. Jon Frost, Senior Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy unit, MED, Bank for International Settlements Risks and emerging concerns around digital finance that could work contrary to goals to help marginalized communities
  • Representative from civil society speaking on an innovative initiative/s to ensure reliable broadband connectivity for advancing digital financial services, including last-mile connectivity (TBC)
  • Ms. Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director, Her Initiative, Tanzania Challenges to financial and digital inclusion at the grassroots level, especially for women, and steps to take to address these challenges.

Moderator: Anita Thomas, Representative to the UN, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (DBA Women First International Fund); Chair, NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Co-sponsors:

Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, Sisters of Charity Federation, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, New Humanity for the Focolare Movement, Salesian Missions Inc, Change Management Solutions, Startnoo

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org

ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development

The 2021 session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up, also known as the FfD Forum, is scheduled to convene from 12-15 April 2021.

The 2020 Forum was originally planned to take place from 20-23 April, in New York, US. Due to the COVID-19 situation, an informal event took place virtually on 23 April 2020.

The FfD Forum is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The FfD Forum is an intergovernmental process with universal participation mandated to review the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda) and other financing for development outcomes and the means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2021 session of the Forum is expected to include a special segment on “concrete steps towards a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” in relation to SDG and AAAA achievement efforts. The session may also seek to integrate the menu of policy options developed through an initiative of the Governments of Canada and Jamaica and the UN Secretary-General on financing the 2030 Agenda in the era of COVID-19 and beyond.

FFSD Office, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA): un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2021/forum-financing-development-follow

As information becomes available, it will be posted to the website.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. Fore more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development, please visit ngosocdev.org.

Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons’ workshop for the 11th Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing session (OEWG11)

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP) and the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY are pleased to invite you to a workshop for the 11th virtual Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing session (OEWG11) on Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 7:00 – 9:00 EST (12:00-14:00 CET)

This preparatory event will be hosted with support by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

Objectives of the meeting:

  • To build a common understanding of the current status of the OEWG process
  • To discuss our shared goals for the outcomes of OEWG11
  • To agree on collective action that NGOs can take throughout the week

Working language: The workshop will be run in English and there will be no interpretation provided. We are planning to have some breakout sessions and chat information accommodate French and Spanish speakers during the workshop.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrcOqurDgqGtYpv8a1l9hmk3UpeWbUaen6

Draft Programme:

Welcome and opening remarks

  • Acknowledgements – Dr. Kiran Rabheru (Chair, GAROP) & Dr. Cynthia Stuen (Chair, NGO COA-NY)
  • Opening remarks – Ambassador Squeff, Chair of the OEWG

Scene-setting and connecting

  • Updates about the session (Amal Abou Rafeh, UNDESA)
  • Q&A

Developments since OEWG10

  • Intersessional events/outcomes
  • COVID-19 and political momentum

Breakout rooms: English / French / Spanish

Preparing our strategy for participation in OEWG11

  • Expectations and objectives for the session
  • Ways in which civil society can participate and have impact:
    • Visibility
      • Age With Rights and social media
      • Side events
    • Reviewing the timetable for the week ahead

Contacts: Susan Somers, NGO Committee on Ageing NY: sbsomers5@aol.com and/or Ellen Graham, GAROP Coordinator: ellen.graham@rightsofolderpeople.org

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com.

Launch of the UN Global Report on Ageism

On March 18, join the UN Decade of Healthy Living for the launch of the first UN Global report on ageism and the start of a global conversation on why ageism matters and how we can tackle it.

Through an interactive and engaging discussion, this online event will challenge how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing. The event will launch the first UN Global report on ageism, developed by WHO, OHCHR, UNDESA, and UNFPA. The report presents the latest evidence on a topic that has only gained greater relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will highlight what we know about ageism, why it matters, and how we can tackle it. It will also kick off a global conversation that concerns us all and in which we all should have our say. People that join the first conversation will be provided with resources to spark their own conversations.

  • Ageism refers to how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice) and act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age.
  • Ageism against older and younger people is highly prevalent worldwide.
  • Ageism exists in our institutions, our relationships and ourselves, and affects us from childhood into older age.
  • Ageism has an impact on all aspects of people’s health and costs individuals and society billions of dollars.
  • Ageism can be combatted. Join the event to learn how.

This online event will be held in English on Zoom and requires pre-registration. Register here!

Help spread the word about ageism by using and following the hashtag #AWorld4AllAges.

This event is a side event of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

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CoNGO Notes:  For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit  facebook.com/ageinggeneva or ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com. 

Covid-19 Vaccination: How churches can ensure that stateless people are not left behind

Covid-19 vaccination: How churches can ensure that stateless people are not left behind

Link to join the webinar on Monday 15 March @ 13:00-14:30 CET: oikoumene.org/live

As any virus, Covid-19 is an invisible threat which has changed our lives and affected our economies a great deal. The current Covid-19 pandemic has been a good reminder that the right to health is a universal right, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 25). It is a right that every individual is entitled to, irrespective of his or her legal status.

The pandemic is also a reminder that we need to work together as a global family to escape this global health crisis. This means that vaccination should be accessible to all, ideally as soon as possible before the virus mutates and becomes resistant to existing vaccines.

In these times of health crisis, governments have been confronted with difficult decisions to make, including avoiding economic disaster while at the same time finding a decent response to the pandemic. It is almost natural that their primary concerns are their nationals. Yet, there are many individuals living on the margins in their territory, such as undocumented migrants, refugees, and stateless people.

Stateless people, i.e. people with no legal identification, have been in most cases overlooked and forgotten. Invisible, yet living in our midst.

How can governments ensure that an invisible threat like Covid-19 does not disproportionately affect people and communities who have been always been overlooked and treated as invisible in other times? The pre-existing vulnerability of stateless people, i.e. their invisibility, put them at greater risk of being left behind when national public health campaigns (such as vaccinations) are planned.

How can churches and ecumenical bodies ensure that the vaccinations are accessible to all, including stateless people and other people undocumented people living on the margins during this time of pandemic?

The current pandemic is an important reminder that we are all equally vulnerable in the face of the current pandemic: Covid-19 does not discriminate, but our responses to it does.

Speakers include (alphabetical order):

  • Mr. Amal de Chickera, Co-Director, Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion
  • Dr. Ronald Lalthanmawia, Programme Coordinator for Prophetic Diakonia, Christian Conference of Asia (CCA)
  • Ms. Mira Neaimeh, Regional Executive, World Student Christian Federation – Middle East
  • Ms. Marcella Rouweler, Legal Officer, UNHCR Statelessness Section
  • Mr. Gorden Simango, Director, All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)

The webinar will be moderated by Rev. Prof. Dr Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, member of CCIA.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com.

Celebrate International Women’s Day with the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY

The NGO Committee on Ageing calls your attention to our next Program Meeting on Thursday, March 4th, from 11:00am to 12:30pm EST.

Register here!

Program Agenda

Welcome and Announcements: Cynthia Stuen, Chair, NGO CoA

Moderator: Sandra Timmermann, Co-Chair, NGO CoA Program Subcommittee

Updates on OEWGA and other business: Frances Zainoeddin, Vice-Chair, NGO CoA

The COVID19 “She-Session”: The Impact of the Pandemic on the Economic Security of Older Women

  • Melissa Grober-Morrow, Thought Leadership Director, Financial Resilience, AARP
  • Ben F. Bolton, Director, Global Partnership Engagement, Office of International Affairs, AARP

Q & A and Discussion: Erica Dhar, AARP

Plans for the Commission on the Status of Women and CoA Member Input: Susan Somers, INPEA (Time will be allotted for member organizations to discuss their plans for CSW.)

The NGO CoA thanks the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) for hosting the meeting on Zoom.

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-NY, please visit ngocoa-ny.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit ngoageingvie.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit ageingcommitteegeneva.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Intergenerational Solidarity, please email the vice chair at susanneseperson@gmail.com.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 on Trade: From short-term disruptions to longer-term resilience

UNCTAD Trade Policy Dialogue

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 on trade: From short-term disruptions to longer-term resilience

Please register online at https://unctad.org/meeting/world-economic-situation-and-prospects2021-trade-short-term-disruptions-longer-term

This Trade Policy Dialogue is organized by UNCTAD in partnership with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The session will discuss major findings in the flagship report World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021, which assesses key trends in international trade and agenda for policy, including the roles of global value chains and services in enhancing economic resilience.

Questions:

  • How do we overcome short-term trade disruptions to reinforce longer-term resilience?
  • How do we take advantage of dynamic comparative advantage and “servicification”?
  • How do different countries see the need to revitalize the multilateral trading system?

Programme Agenda:

2:30 p.m. Opening

2:35 p.m. Panel discussion moderated by Miho Shirotori, Head, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, UNCTAD

Panelists:

  • Ingo Pitterle, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Branch, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Bruno Antunes, Economic Affairs Officer, Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, UNCTAD
  • Polina Tonkikh, Director, World Trade Organization Expertise Centre, Russian Federation

3:20 p.m. Questions and answers

3:35 p.m. Closing

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit ngocsdvienna.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, please visit ngocsd-ny.org.

[Monthly Meeting] NGO Committee on Financing for Development

Dear Colleagues,

We hope all of you are doing well.  This is a reminder for the next NGO Committee on Financing for Development meeting that will take place by Zoom on March 3 from 1:00- 3:00 pm EST.

Registration for access to the Zoom link available here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0td-GspjsrHtfM9kwJmPggiJiHQMwHdCKc

Agenda includes:

  • Philipp Erfurth, Economic Affairs Officer, UN Financing for Sustainable Development Office will be providing a briefing on FfD matters
  • Briefing on the International Rescue Committee report “COVID-19 and Refugees’ Economic Opportunities, Financial Services and Digital Inclusion”
  • Anneleen Vos | Senior Policy Officer – Economic Programmes, International Rescue Committee and Prof Dr Hans-Martin Zademach , Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Financing for Development, please visit ngosonffd.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org.

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