Welcome address & Opening remarks

  • Christoph PAUSCH, European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP)
  • Manuel TONNAR, Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs

Christoph PAUSCH briefly welcomed the 450 attendees from 62 countries to European Microfinance Week (EMW) 2019 and introduced the main topic of this year’s European Microfinance Award: Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change. 

Manuel TONNAR seized the opportunity of his opening remarks to stress that the urgency of mitigating and adapting to climate change has become widely recognized by everyone including financial institutions. Financial institutions are not strengthening resilience out of charity or activism. They are strengthening resilience through financial inclusion, because it is the most efficient way to achieve sustainable economic growth. The efforts of financial institutions can support the work of public donors who cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by themselves. 

Amongst the challenges in this field is the search for adaptive solutions, developing insurance services, building financial literacy and long-term financial planning to adapt economic activities to climate change. Successfully tackling these challenges of financial inclusion will result in a reduction of income inequality and financial growth.