> Posted by Center Staff

This week the global financial inclusion community saw a mini-milestone: with the newly signed-on Nepal, 40 countries have committed to the Maya Declaration. The Maya Declaration is a global and measurable set of commitments by developing and emerging country governments to greater financial inclusion.

When a country commits to the Maya Declaration, they make measurable commitments in four financial inclusion areas: create an enabling environment to harness new technology that increases access and lowers costs of financial services; implement a proportional framework that advances synergies in financial inclusion, integrity, and stability; integrate consumer protection and empowerment as a key pillar of financial inclusion; utilize data for informed policymaking and tracking results.

Nepal announced its Maya Declaration commitment on Tuesday. In the commitment, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) vowed to increase the country’s financial literacy through the development of a national-level Financial Literacy Strategy by mid-2014. The bank also committed to conducting a financial literacy program for students, “NRB with Students,” and widely disseminating financial literacy materials to promote public awareness. To strengthen the country’s mobile money services, the commitment includes provisions to improve the quality of existing mobile money services and to introduce new services before the end of 2014. Also before the end of 2014, Nepal’s commitment outlines that NRB will direct a national-level survey on rural credit and create a Financial Sector Development Strategy. Other recent country commitments came from Belarus this past May and El Salvador this past March.

The Maya Declaration was established at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) Global Policy Forum in 2011, with AFI network members collectively adopting its financial inclusion policy principles. There were 80 member institutions from 76 countries at the time of the Forum. The network has since expanded, growing to 100 member institutions this past spring. At the 2011 Forum, a number of member institutions made the first Maya Declaration commitments for their respective 17 countries.

For more on the Maya Declaration, click here. For a list of the countries that have made Maya Declaration commitments, click here.

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