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Submitted by Proxfin on
Knowing that 2.5 billion individuals, three quarters of the world's poor, still do not have an account in a formal financial institution, financial inclusion appears as a priority for increasing local economic growth and reducing poverty. In this International Year of Cooperatives, it is interesting to note that in the microfinance sector, cooperatives reach significantly more individuals and families than other financial institutions. Much more than a simple alternative to the traditional banking model, financial cooperatives make an essential contribution to social development and improved living conditions in communities. They also wield significant economic power in our globalized economy, in particular as employers. This is why Développement international Desjardins (www.did.qc.ca) and its partners, community finance institutions that are members of the international Proxfin network (www.proxfin.org), base their action on cooperative values and principles such as governance based on transparency and representation of member and client interests, local ownership, deep-rooted community involvement and inter-cooperation.

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