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Financial Inclusion and Microfinance

About 90% of the 180 million poor households in the region lack access to institutional financial services. Most formal financial institutions deny the poor their services because of perceived high risks, the high costs involved in small transactions, and the poor’s inability to provide marketable collateral for loans. Promotion of financial inclusion is a common developmental theme for most developing countries in Asia and the Pacific and is key to inclusive and balanced economic growth. Providing the poor with improved facilities to save and to have better access to credit and insurance helps them manage risk, build assets, increase income, and enjoy a better life.