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Outcome 2: District WASH sector systems are strengthened and there is a sustained commitment to adequate resources for WASH services.Outcome 3: Empowered women are leaders in the sector and people with disabilities have a greater voice in decision-making.Through it she has learned to manage more wisely the money she earns from her vegetable garden. Women’s Micro Bank is also a partner of the Microfinance Expansion Project. “We have migrated nearly 10,000 women customers from the nongovernmental organization that the bank emerged from,” says CEO Hewapathirana.“In addition to these customers we have opened nearly 650 new accounts so far.” Aside from banking services, the microbank also conducts financial literacy training for its clients.Both projects are responsible for establishing microfinance in PNG.The Microfinance Expansion Project is strengthening industry regulation and boosting the capacity of lenders to deliver a wider range of financial services and products in rural areas, with a focus on lending, savings, and remittance products to micro and small enterprises, and especially to women.Papua New Guinea is the largest and most populous Pacific Island nation, with a total population of over 8 million.Papua New Guinea also presents geographical challenges with a large majority of the population living in rural areas, some of which are extremely remote and difficult to access.
Improving gender equality outcomes through WASH requires a gender mainstreaming approach, to support women’s participation, leadership and voice in decision-making, as well as shifting deep-seated gender norms and attitudinal change among men, male duty-bearers and local leaders.
The first microbank to be licensed in PNG is the biggest microfinance bank in the country and the South Pacific.
Now 10 years old, Nationwide Microbank or Mi Bank grew from a small ADB pilot program.
She also offers tailoring and sewing services at the store.
The business is a family affair, as most of her five children work there.
Mi Bank chief executive officer Tony Westaway says microfinance is not just about access to credit, but also about people having somewhere to safely put their money.