By Eric McKay, Research Assistant
The MasterCard Foundation, a private Canadian foundation that supports microfinance; CARE Canada, an international humanitarian organization; and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), a nonprofit organization that supports international development, recently announced that they are providing CAD 9 million (the equivalent of USD 8.8 million) to fund two new programs that aim to extend savings services to 900,000 residents of Tajikistan and Rwanda.
AKFC will begin introducing village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) to Tajikstan over the next five years. This program will receive CAD 4 million (the equivalent of USD 3.9 million) from the MasterCard Foundation and CAD 1 million (the equivalent of USD 975,000) from AKFC. AKFC aims to help 360,000 villagers identify and develop viable businesses and connect them to markets.
Over the next three years, CARE will create VSLAs in Rwanda as part of a CAD 4 million (the equivalent of USD 3.9 million) program, funded equally by the MasterCard Foundation and CARE. The savings program will aim to extend basic financial services to an estimated 540,000 Rwandan residents.
About the MasterCard Foundation
Based in Canada, the MasterCard Foundation is an independent, private foundation with over CAD 3 billion (the equivalent of USD 2.9 billion) in assets. The foundation’s goal is to enable people living in poverty to improve their lives with increased access to microfinance and education. The Foundation was established in 2006 by a gift of shares of MasterCard Worldwide during the company’s initial public offering.
About CARE Canada
CARE Canada was started in the 1940’s to aid in the compilation and distribution of food to survivors of the Second World War. CARE Canada is now an independent organization that works to reduce poverty and alleviate the suffering associated with poverty around the world.
About Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC)
A member of the international Aga Khan Development Network, Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is an international nonprofit agency that supports social development programs in Asia and Africa. Founded in 1980, AKFC aims to solve the root causes of poverty. AKFC is currently supporting more than 25 initiatives in Africa and Asia that involve microfinance, health and education.