The BBVA Microfinance Foundation once again leads private philanthropy for development, next to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF), once again leads in Latin America in the contribution to development and ranks second worldwide after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the recent data published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which documents the work of almost 40 of the most prominent foundations from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member countries.

With USD 1.3 bn disbursed in 2019 through its microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America, BBVAMF’s CEO, Javier M. Flores stated that this “consolidates our commitment with low-income people who we serve implementing a unique microfinance model, focused on their progress, which has proven to be effective throughout the years and during 2020, has been a significant tool to support their recovery.”

 'The role of philanthropy in financing for development'

The OECD’s official figures show that the BBVAMF’s institutions present higher impact in Peru (USD 769M) and Colombia (USD 382M) which comprises 88% of the total disbursements, followed by Dominican Republic (USD 143M) and Panama (USD 21M).

Furthermore, in 2019 the BBVAMF disbursed an additional USD 288M through its MFI in Chile, although this amount is not included in the OECD official statistics, given that since January 2018, the country is not among the recipients of DAC’s Official Development Assistance.

Fuente: OCDE

This contribution, along with the different initiatives of the BBVAMF aligned with its purpose to foster the sustainable development of low-income entrepreneurs, impacts 12 out of 17 SDG. The most outstanding ones being its effect on SDG 1 “No Poverty”, SDG 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, SDG 10 “Reduced Inequalities”, SDG 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”, SDG 5 “Gender Equality” and SDG 2 “Zero Hunger”.

In this light, BBVAMF Finance Manager and Controller, Gabriela Gil noted that “financial inclusion is more important than ever to reach the 2030 Agenda”, since the UN estimates that the financial gap that prevents the SDG from being attained in developing countries is, at least, USD 2.5 trillion a year, “this figure has increased as the pandemic has threatened the achievement of the SDG.

For more than 50 years, the OECD has published the Official Development Assistance (ODA) figures which in 2019 rose to USD 152.8 bn (DAC member countries).

In recent years, these statistics have expanded their scope and currently includes information on nearly 40 relevant foundations that together contributed USD 8.2M in 2019. These data are comparable to country-level information, given that the foundations are analyzed using the same ODA standards.

The pandemic’s impact on the contribution to development

This year, the OECD also published data from a survey that compiles information on how leading private foundations responded to the COVID-19 crisis and according to the results, the BBVAMF ranked second as well for its contribution to developing countries.

“This has been possible thanks to the digital transformation that we initiated several years back, as a priority, and now, we are seeing how effective it is, during these critical moments of lockdowns because it allows us to stay close to the people we serve, who always prove to be examples of perseverance”, confirmed BBVAMF CEO, Javier M. Flores. 

During the pandemic, around 20% of BBVAMF’s entrepreneurs were able to transform their businesses and by the end of 2020, nearly 80% were completely operational.