Nowadays, still « two billion adults, or more than half of the world population of working age is still excluded from formal financial services », according to the United Nations Capital Development Fund. Since the introduction of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, it is accepted that poverty and economic inequality, to which mainly the inhabitants of the least developed countries are subjected, are essentially solved through « the integration of the whole population in formal economy ».
The Cooperative Society Philea International (Philea) – formerly the International Guarantee Fund (FIG) – was created by the RAFAD Foundation (Research and Applications of Alternative Financing for Development) and its field partners with the aim of accompanying microfinance institutions, agricultural cooperatives and SME groups in Africa and Latin America in obtaining loans from local banks. The two institutions worked jointly until 2018, when a new intervention and communication strategy was adopted by the General Assembly of FIG, giving birth to the henceforth named Philea.
Philea gets involved in the financial inclusion of its partners and members while ensuring their access to financial services and reinforcing their skills when it comes to managing the collected funds.
In 25 years
Philea intervened in three continents, in 15 different countries and with more than 60 structures, by investing more than CHF 52 billion. Philea works with peasant organizations (such as agricultural cooperatives), microfinance institutions, associations or foundations which wish to contribute to this change of paradigm.