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The National Bank of Tajikistan, IFC and financial institutions will continue to work on increasing the financial literacy of the Tajik population

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 18 December, 2017

- IFC (International Finance Corporation), a member of the World Bank Group, the National Bank of Tajikistan and partner financial institutions take stock of the first three years of the Program of Increasing Financial Literacy in Tajikistan. The implementation of the program on increasing financial literacy of the population started by IFC in Tajikistan in 2014, with the financial support of the Government of Switzerland represented by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. "One of the most important areas of the Swiss Government’s assistance program is to support the implementation of the principles of responsible financing and the stability of the financial market. Empowering consumers of financial services plays a key role in achieving this goal. We need to raise the level of literacy of the population, since an informed consumer better manages household finances, especially in times of crisis, and makes the most optimal decision to purchase a financial product. Financial literacy helps to reduce the risk of losses and increases the economic returns from available resources, both for their families and for the banking system, " remarked Ms. Karin Demange, Deputy Director of the Swiss Office in Tajikistan. Presently, the Program has 15 partner financial organizations operating in all regions of the Republic. Each of the Program partners received a package of tools, including training modules, video materials, household income and expenditure tracking tools, visual aids in the form of comics, and a series of video and audio clips to increase the financial literacy of the population. In addition, more than 1,800 employees of these financial organizations underwent trainings on community counseling. The following are the most important results of the Program: more than 15 thousand people have been trained, among them 6,7 thousand are women. According to the results of the first half of 2017, the partners provided consultations to more than 300 thousand people throughout the country. These results demonstrate the active involvement of banks and microfinance organizations of Tajikistan in the process of increasing the financial literacy of the population and the interest of citizens to acquire new knowledge and skills. The National Bank of Tajikistan is one of the key partners of the Program, taking an active part in disseminating financial literacy materials among the population. The National Bank of Tajikistan presented the results of activities on financial literacy and noted the importance of increasing the level of financial education of population for the financial sector in general, suggesting to incorporate the financial literacy component into the Strategy of Development of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2030. It should be noted that the National Bank of Tajikistan fully supports the program of raising the level of financial literacy of population, facilitating the accessibility and dissemination of this knowledge among users of financial services. In addition, the National Bank of Tajikistan actively works towards raising the population’s awareness of non-cash payment systems and supports initiatives aimed at increasing the level of population’s engagement, in such areas as electronic and digital financial services. "Jointly with the existing financial organizations, we developed materials that take into account local cultural aspects and cover the most important areas of responsible and reasonable use of financial products and services by the population," noted Ms. Zarina Odinaeva, the Manager of the Program on Financial Infrastructure Development of Electronic Payments of the World Bank Group / IFC –“For instance, an impact evaluation of the financial literacy program has shown a 6% increase in the number of people with savings (40% in 2017 compared to 34% in 2013), while nearly 4% more respondents noted that they meet their budget goals. "The program of financial literacy contributed to the achievement of such positive results. This was also made possible by the tireless contribution of the organizations participating in the Program. Together, we intend to continue increasing the level of financial literacy of the population until 2020 “, added Ms. Odinaeva.