Ministry of Foreign Affairs

About the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)

The directorate-general for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has been involved in microfinance since its early days. This goes back to the registration in the Netherlands as a ‘stichting’ of Women’s World Banking in 1979.

Other lines of approach include projects supported by embassies, relations with Dutch development NGOs in the run-up to the establishment of NPM in 2003, and membership of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the donor consortium and knowledge center hosted by the World Bank that was established in 1995.

After the International Year of Microcredit, princess Máxima became a member of a UN Advisers Group, since 2009 she is the UN SG’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, and in 2011 she became honorary patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

Current Dutch policy follows developments in the industry as well as national priorities. This implies renewed interest for the demand side (with regard to financial education, product design and responsible finance), continued emphasis on sustainable outreach (in part supported by branchless banking), diversification of financial services, as well as appropriate regulation and supervision. It also implies the broader concept of inclusive finance, extending from microcredit to e-transactions, from the micro level to small entrepreneurs, all the while making good use of the momentum provided by the G20.

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