UN SDG 1 - No poverty

Why this matters

The slowing poverty reduction progress since 2015 has been set back further by COVID-19 and the global extreme poverty rate rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years. The triple threat of COVID-19, conflict and climate change makes the global goal of ending poverty by 2030 beyond reach unless immediate and substantial policy actions are implemented. 

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Our response

Financial inclusion is key to reducing extreme poverty. Nevertheless, many people, especially women, still lack access to financial services with close to 1.7 billion adults currently un-banked. Without the ability to transfer money, people are limited in their ability to save, access loans, start a business and even be paid.

In 2007, together with our Kenyan associate, Safaricom, we developed the first mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa. With a mobile phone and an M-Pesa account, people on low incomes have more control over their financial affairs. M-Pesa is also widely used to pay salaries, pensions, agricultural subsidies and government grants.

As of March 2021, 48.3 million customers were using M-Pesa, with over 15.2 billion transactions made through a network of more than 918,500 agents.

Our latest UN SDG 1 case studies and stories

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