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Date: 26 January 2024

European Microfinance Award 2023

Yikri won the European Microfinance Award 2023 for its commitment to addressing the complex challenges of food security and nutrition in Burkina Faso.

HRH Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg presented the European Microfinance Award 2023 to Yikri, a microfinance institution from Burkina Faso, at a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg on 16 November 2023.

Yikri has won the €100 000 European Microfinance Award 2023 from the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg. The other two finalists were Kenya’s Fortune Credit Ltd and Guatemala’s Fundación Génesis Empresarial.

Yikri champions social microfinance for poverty alleviation. It stands out for its financial products and support services specifically designed for the most vulnerable groups, particularly women, forcibly displaced people, rural smallholders and young people. Burkina Faso has some of the highest levels of food insecurity in the world and must adapt its agricultural model to climate change risks to tackle this challenge.

To help smallholder farmers with this transition, Yikri offered an agricultural loan without a guarantee and adapted to harvest cycles, together with support from technical advisors with agricultural expertise. They help and advise producers on the environmentally friendly implementation of agroecological practices to improve their crop yields. Yikri also strengthens value chains by connecting farmers with input suppliers and buyers.

This close support is provided over time by way of individual visits and monthly group training sessions.

In addition, Yikri’s social worker team identifies the families most affected by malnutrition (particularly in disadvantaged parts of Ouagadougou) and directs them to associations organising subsidised milk distribution programmes.

Yikri currently helps almost 40,000 people. It has been seen that over an average support period of three years, the number of its beneficiaries in extreme poverty is cut in half while their monthly net income is doubled.

About the European Microfinance Award:
The only prize of its kind in the world, the European Microfinance Award was launched in October 2005 by the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to nurture innovative microfinance initiatives. It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe) and the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP).
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