Financial inclusion and financial education are part of the current debate on the development of policies that contribute to poverty alleviation, as a complementary strategy to pro-ductive development projects for poor households, and as a tool to generate capacities in the context of the discussion about multidimensional poverty.
The countries in the region have committed themselves to promoting financial inclusion, relating to economic aspects as well as to aspects of social inclusion. In this context, financial inclusion is not simply about the existence of a supply side with competitive financial products and services. Instead, it aims to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to make effective, sustainable, and protected use of these products and services, so they can reach all segments of the population.
With the goal of highlighting and discussing the advances and challenges surrounding financial inclusion, the Regional Meeting on Financial Inclusion and Education Experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean was held between September 30 and October 3 of 2014 in Santiago de Chile, bringing together policymakers, academics and executives of financial institutions from more than 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Meeting was organized by the Fondo de Solidaridad e Inversión Social - FOSIS (Solidarity and Social Investment Fund of Chile) and the Proyecto Capital, funded by the Ford Foundation and the International Development Research Centre - IDRC of Canada; with the support of the Agencia de Cooperación Internacional del Japón – JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), the Agencia de Cooperación Internacional de Chile - AGCI (International Cooperation Agency of Chile), and the Mesa de Educación Financiera - MEF (Financial Education Roundtable) of Chile.
This publication summarizes the main conclusions and challenges that were presented at the Regional Meeting, during which the various participants demonstrated their ongoing commitment to achieve profound economic and social transformations to overcome the conditions of exclusion and vulnerability of the poor.