MiBank reaches Morobe remotely
Thanks to USAID’s Lukautim Graun PNG Program (LGP) partnership and micro banking, people living in rural and remote communities like Nasuapum now have access to banking services. These services have increased opportunities for improved sustainable and renewable livelihood activities and bring people into the formal financial sector by giving them access to a range of MiBank financial services.
Increased access to financial services such as micro and small loans to start businesses should directly reduce pressure on biodiversity and forest habitats.
On April 7, MiBank staff, with the support of LGP, opened 12 new bank accounts for ten women and two men in Nasuapum.
MiBank branch manager in Lae, Emily Solomon, was pleased with the interest shown by the villagers and agreed to work with the local community to establish a bank officer who will be based in the village for the long term.
“We want the community itself to identify the agent and make recommendations to us to train them on how best to serve the community, as well as accepting deposits and withdrawals for community members,” said she declared.
Ms. Solomon publicized the banking products and financial services specially tailored to rural communities and offered by MiBank, including banking requirements to access credit designed to support the livelihood opportunities of villagers and micro, small and medium enterprises.
USAID LGP Livelihoods Officer Jayanne Mailai urged local villagers to develop a culture of savings and open a bank account. “Having a bank account allows people to save their money in a safe place for future use and to increase income from their livelihood activities.”
Sandra Alakam was the first to open an account and receive a bank card. “This is the first time I have had a bank card. Thank you USAID for making this possible,” Ms. Alakam said.
It is difficult and sometimes dangerous for women to travel long distances to access banks in town.
Sandra is a member of the Ngasawapum Mama association which represents the women of the village of Nasuapum.
The association operates a small taxi business and intends to open an account with MiBank to expand its business.
Cardno International Development implements the USAID PNG Lukautim Graun (LGP) program in cooperation with implementing partners Care International, PNG Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).