The UNSGSA 2021 Annual Report to the Secretary-General highlights how financial inclusion is more important than ever as societies continue to deal with the social and economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 crisis. It details many of the key activities and initiatives of the Special Advocate over the last year to continue to advance and reinforce the role of inclusive finance as an imperative and key enabler in building a more resilient future.
This includes numerous (virtual) country visits and engagements, bilateral meetings, speeches and participation in important events, with a heightened focus on advocacy for financial inclusion in Africa, especially for women.
A key theme emphasized throughout the report is the potential of digital financial inclusion to quickly expand access and usage of quality, convenient and affordable financial services to underserved groups, including the poor, women, smallholders and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). This is particularly important in the context of COVID-19 as these segments are often more vulnerable to the pandemic’s fallout.