Finance and microfinance systems

Access to financial services is essential for social and economic development in both urban and rural areas. Iram has worked on microfinance and agricultural and rural finance systems since the 1980s, and is internationally recognised for its knowledge and expertise in this field.

Providing financial services for actors who are excluded from the classic banking system

Microfinance aims to provide good quality financial services (credit, savings, insurance) for people on low incomes who are excluded from the commercial banking system. It is now recognised as a crucial development tool, particularly for reducing poverty and tackling inequalities.

However, there are still important financial needs that are not covered by either the banking system or microfinance institutions, especially in agriculture. Innovative financial tools that meet the needs of rural and agricultural actors with very low incomes are vital for local development, along with national policies to regulate financial practices and promote good governance of the many new systems emerging in the finance sector.

Iram’s approach

Iram intervenes at various levels to address these issues:

  • creating and rehabilitating financial institutions in rural areas
  • evaluating the socio-economic impacts of microfinance institutions
  • providing technical support for microfinance networks
  • supporting national and regional policies on microfinance and funding for the agricultural sector.

Iram works in collaboration with Cerise (Comité d'échange, de réflexion et d'information sur les systèmes d'épargne-crédit) and is engaged in productive discussions with actors in different financial systems (operators from the South and North, microfinance institutions, NGOs, donors, researchers, etc.).