The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International) is a non-profit association of microcredit , founded by John Hatch ( in ) in 1984.
Sometimes referred to as the “Bank of the poor” and “poverty vaccine for the planet,” FINCA is the instigator of the method of the Village Banking ( in ) in microcredit and is considered one of the pioneers the microfinance modern. Headquartered in Washington , DC, FINCA has 21 affiliates in Latin America , the Caribbean , Africa , Eastern Europe, and Western and Central Asia . With Grameen Bank and ACCION International ( inFINCA is considered one of the most influential microfinance organizations in the world.
In 1984, Hatch, a savvy economist and international development expert, devised a new method of delivering assistance to the poor. In an airplane flying over the Andes in the direction of Bolivia , Hatch is struck by inspiration. He grasps what to write, and quickly notes ideas, equations and flowcharts. Arriving in La Paz, he has already laid the foundation for a completely different approach to poverty alleviation: a financial services program that would give responsibilities to the poor. “Give poor communities the opportunity, and then go away! Says Hatch. He calls the village banking idea . This approach gives the poor the opportunity to obtain loans at market interest levels.
Hatch first convinced the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Officer Group , who, interested in this innovative idea, will provide a first grant of $ 1 million. Hatch and his Peruvian business partner, Aquiles Lanoa , launched the program in five geographically separate parts of Bolivia, and within four weeks, had generated funds in 280 villages, serving 14,000 families with 630 loans. $ 000. When Hatch’s customers in Bolivia changed their national team, the new representatives stopped the program. More cautious than the original client team, the new group acknowledged the success of the program, but continued to believe that non-collateralized lending to the very poor was too risky. Hatch spent the next months training others in village banking , helping to open new programs across Latin America, and forming the institution that will become FINCA International. FINCA incorporated in 1985.
Its ability to achieve financial sustainability has allowed FINCA to expand significantly in the 1980s and 1990s in Latin America , the Caribbean , Africa , and the countries of the former USSR. In the 2000s, FINCA continued to expand into the newly independent states, establishing new programs in Central Asia. Its most recent programs were launched in Afghanistan in 2004 and in Jordan in 2007.
FINCA International’s mission is to provide “financial services to low-income entrepreneurs around the world, thereby creating jobs, generating capital, and improving their standard of living.” Today FINCA’s mission reaches more than 1,000,000 customers worldwide. In this ambitious drive, it aims to double its number of customers by 2013.
The purpose of this mission is to have a systematic and generational impact on poverty by making loans to poor women accessible on a large scale.
In the microcredit industry, FINCA is known for reaching the poorest segments of the market.
In 2003, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan accepted an invitation to join FINCA International, formalizing a supportive relationship that began in 2000. By accepting this invitation, the Queen reaffirmed her faith in FINCA’s vision.
Israeli-American actress Natalie Portmanjoined FINCA in 2003 as “Ambassador of Hope”. About her meeting with the queen, she explains: “Because I am Israeli and Queen Rania is probably the most influential Palestinian woman in the world, I had this dream of meeting her and something to promote peace. and working together between Israeli and Palestinian women … I did not even realize that two-thirds of the population was extremely poor, living on less than a dollar a day, and that 70% of these people are women. and children, it’s not something we teach at school in the United States. ” Since then, Portman has visited various FINCA projects in Mexico, Guatemala, Uganda, and Ecuador,
put their money together to send the most gifted to the university; and it’s amazing how much responsibility and pride these women who have no education and almost no hope can take.
List of countries where FINCA operates
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Ecuador , Guatemala , Haiti , Honduras , Mexico , Nicaragua , El Salvador
- Countries of the former USSR: Armenia , Azerbaijan , Georgia , Kosovo , Kyrgyzstan , Russia , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan
- Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo , Malawi , Tanzania , Uganda , Zambia
- Middle East: Afghanistan , Jordan
- FINCA also maintains an administrative presence in Ukraine .