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Presentation of the Rural Financial Inclusion Project and Challenge Fund in Quetzaltenango: Promoting Rural Financial Inclusion in Guatemala

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From left to Right: Juan Fernando Díaz, Héctor Tuy, Brenda Velásquez, Jaime Vargas, Glenda de Paiz, Jerry Marcus, Odalis Hernández, Arno Loewenthal.

With significant participation, NCBA CLUSA presented the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Рfunded Rural Financial Inclusion (RFI) Project and its Challenge Fund in Quetzaltenango City. The event saw the participation of cooperatives, federations of cooperatives, financial institutions such as microfinance organizations, banks, and other development projects. 

The RFI Project, part of the U.S. Government’s global Feed The Future initiative, aims to enhance access to and usage of financial services in rural communities, particularly in the agricultural sector. NCBA CLUSA is responsible for its implementation, to facilitate access to and improve the use of financial services for rural populations in eight departments of Guatemala. 

The Challenge Fund is a strategic tool of the RFI Project, designed to foster financial inclusion, especially for women and young indigenous people and rural MSMEs in Guatemala. It incentivizes banks, financial institutions, microfinance organizations, savings and credit cooperatives, FinTech, and AgriTech to promote savings, credit, insurance, digital payment methods, and the digitization and saving of family remittances in rural areas. These four incentives are specifically designed to benefit rural MSMEs, women, youth, and indigenous communities in the departments of Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Quiché, Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango, and Alta and Baja Verapaz. 

This effort aims not only to expand access to financial products but also to stimulate the growth of rural economies and strengthen the supply adapted to the demand of the diverse financial institutions partnering in the RFI Project. 

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