Nov 29, 2021

The European Microfinance Platform is delighted to announce the publication of The First Wealth is Health, the latest in its annual series of publications that condense the themes and pull together the outstanding cases and factors for success from that year’s European Microfinance Award (EMA).

For almost everyone in the world this year, health care has been at the forefront of their minds. Covid-19 has put all countries’ health care systems under a microscope, and one legacy of the pandemic will undoubtedly be a re-thinking of how all societies take care of their most vulnerable people. From initiatives on education to health insurance, screenings, and tele-medicine, the ten semi-finalists profiled in this paper – and all the others who applied for the EMA2021 – have revealed what a critical, dynamic field this is – and one which will only grow in relevance.

The First Wealth is Health opens with a tour of the inclusive health care landscape – a continuum of health care needs that vulnerable and low-income populations have, the barriers they face, the challenges of ensuring access and affordability of health care, and the role that the financial inclusion sector can play in meeting those needs. The three middle sections address three main approaches to providing access to affordable health care – preventing and treating illness, mitigating the risk of health shocks, and delivering health care to those who need it most. Within each of these categories are case studies of the ten EMA2021 semi-finalists who best embody that approach.

The First Wealth is Health concludes with the ‘Factors for Success’ that have emerged over this almost year-long evaluation process: what distinguishes the ten exceptional initiatives profiled within it, and how can other organisations replicate their success?

We are very proud of this paper - the quality and diversity of all the applicants’ initiatives has ensured a rich exchange of best practices and lessons learned over the course of this year. Thanks must go to Luxembourg’s Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and all the members of the Selection Committee and the High Jury who gave their time and expertise to take part in a rigorous evaluation process.

Download the report here

Learn more about the European Microfinance Award 2021

View the related EMW2021 session recordings:

Fireside chat: Inclusive finance & health care: case studies from EMA 2021

Plenary: Inclusive finance and health care, EMA 2021

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