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The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today congratulated four local NGOs and social enterprises, Rise Beyond the Reef, Pacific Blue Foundation, Empower Pacific, and Quantum Space - Learning and Innovation Hub, for their work to support COVID-hit communities across Fiji.
An event was held at ANZ House to celebrate a new partnership between ANZ and UNDP to deliver ANZ’s adult financial education programmes, MoneyMinded and Business Basics, in partnership with local organisations working in rural communities.
The partnership will see accredited ANZ facilitators deliver financial education with female market vendors, entrepreneurs and small business owners across a number of UNDP supported projects.
As part of the event, ANZ donated computers and IT equipment to support their community work.
UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative Levan Bouadze said the organisations in the room today are doing amazing work in remote, rural communities.
“These organisations are supporting vulnerable communities to cope with the COVID-19 crisis through upskilling, providing financial education and creating income generation opportunities. ANZ has been instrumental in providing them with business advice and support to ensure their programmes can be sustainable.”
Rise Beyond the Reef has been helping rural women who produce arts and crafts for sale to adjust their products to suit a domestic market, now that the tourism market has been decimated by COVID-19.
Janet Lotawa, co-founder and Executive Director of Rise Beyond the Reef, said remote rural communities in particular have little support in the face of COVID-19.
“We are grateful for the support of UNDP and ANZ, enabling grassroots organizations like ours to work in the gaps. We believe investing in innovation can lead to opportunities for marginalised communities in Fiji to participate in a recovery economy, which is imperative to achieving a just recovery for all."
Saud Minam, ANZ Country Head for Fiji, said ANZ was proud to support the grassroots organisations in the room and other UNDP programmes.
“ANZ’s MoneyMinded and Business Basics programmes are proven to improve Pacific people’s money confidence. Partnering with the UNDP means ANZ can help more people, so Pacific people can spend more time building a sustainable income to protect their livelihoods and support their families.”
ANZ has already delivered MoneyMinded and Business Basics to more than 20,000 people across the Pacific since 2010.
An independent report by Melbourne’s RMIT University into the impact of MoneyMinded, has found that the programme has significantly strengthened participants’ financial knowledge, skills and capabilities.
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