USP partners with ANZ Group to provide financial literacy programme in the Pacific region

(Source: EEAS)

The University of the South Pacific (USP) component of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme signed an agreement today to partner with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) to deliver a community-based financial literacy programme. With funding support from the European Union (EU), the programme  aims  to improve the livelihoods and sustainability of coastal communities in the Pacific region.

This represents PEUMP’s first private sector partnership and builds on two existing micro-qualifications in “Establishing and Operating a Small Seafood Business” and “Maintaining Seafood Safety and Quality” delivered by USP to encourage the economic empowerment of coastal communities.

With climate change, overfishing and the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating the economic challenges of coastal communities in the region, financial literacy represents an essential tool to foster resilience and deal with unexpected financial setbacks.

The first cohort will be rolled out in Fiji, followed by Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, and Vanuatu through the ANZ country offices. The trainings will be provided in local languages, and they aim to bridge knowledge gaps for communities. It will follow a holistic approach to enable coastal communities to better manage their earnings from ocean, marine and coastal resources.  The two-day trainings will focus on ANZ’s Money Minded Programme and the Business Basics Programme.

Additionally, under the PEUMP Programme, USP will apply to deliver the regional accredited version of the ANZ financial literacy micro-qualification, “Developing Personal Financial Capability” currently under the Pacific Qualifications Framework (PQF).

The Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific, H.E. Sujiro Seam said, “The European Union recognizes the crucial importance of oceans for the Pacific. Together with Sweden, partnering as Team Europe, it invests €45M in the Pacific European Union Marine Partnership. In this context, the financial literacy initiative launched today with ANZ and the University of the South Pacific, contributes to improve capacity building, resilience and livelihood in the region. It is in line with the European Union Green Deal and its strategy for smart food systems’’.

USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Regional Campuses and Global Engagement, Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Pāunga, said this unique milestone inspired the transformation of people’s livelihoods in coastal communities in the P-ACP region to take charge of their lives which is key to sustainable fisheries management.

Dr Paunga highlighted that USP’s highest academic committee, the USP Senate, recently approved the “Certificate of Attainment” for USP micro-qualifications formally recognising them as accredited certificates.

“This partnership to collaborate on delivering the accredited micro-qualification on ‘Developing Personal Financial Capability’ is timely as it promotes sustainability in allowing people in the Pacific-ACP region to use such micro-qualifications towards building more formal educational pathways,” he said.

ANZ Country Head Fiji, Rabih Yazbek, highlighted that “ANZ’s commitment to MoneyMinded reflects the importance we place on the financial wellbeing of our people, customers and communities by helping them make the most of their money throughout their lives. “We will continue to invest in MoneyMinded in the Pacific because we know that focusing our efforts in this area is important and the independent research tells us it’s working.”

“Having MoneyMinded recognised as a micro qualification will be life-changing for many who don’t otherwise have the opportunity to study and receive other qualifications”.

Funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden, the EUR 45 million PEUMP programme promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth, while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity. It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related oceanic fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action.

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