Microserfin supports IOM in strengthening financial capacities of the migrant population in Panama

More than 50 migrants in the provinces of Panamá and Panamá Oeste received financial tools that will contribute to improving the finances of their enterprises, as well as their contributions to the economy of Panama. 

In Panama, according to a survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) between August and September 2021, 18% of 4,200 migrants surveyed are self-employed. Taking into account the total population surveyed, one in three respondents indicated that they received less than the agreed payment or even did not receive payment at all. This situation shows migrants among the most vulnerable groups in the country. Many of them are excluded from the financial system and live in precarious and insecure conditions, with low wages and no social security. 

Recognizing that generating financial capacities among the migrant population is important for the reconstruction of their economic livelihoods, Microserfin, an organization part of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, trained beneficiaries of IOM’s Economic Integration programs through its financial education program "Saquemos Cuentas". 

“Saquemos Cuentas” helped the beneficiaries make informed decisions and build positive habits for their financial wellbeing, such as accumulating savings, mitigating the impact of emergencies and making productive investments that improve their livelihoods and contribute to the local economy through their entrepreneurial ventures. 

Adis Quevedo, National Officer of IOM's Peace and Development Unit in Panama, highlighted the importance of this effort where the private sector recognizes the socioeconomic contributions of the migrant population in Panama. Companies such as Micoserfin provide financial management tools that contribute to the process of integration of the migrant population into the national economy. 

The initiative is based on Microserfin’s commitment to empowering migrants and refugees, as well as contributing to Panama’s development through a comprehensive approach to the social impact, diversity, and inclusion of the most vulnerable groups. 

“For over a decade, Microserfin has made an effort to serve frequently excluded groups such as migrants and refugees”, said Edison Mejía Ardila, the organization’s general manager. “Experience has shown us that by supporting them through financial inclusion and productive finance, we promote their development, well-being and promote their participation in economic and social life in the territory", he added. 

During the training sessions, more than 50 people from Panamá and Panamá Oeste received the five modules of Debt Management, Savings ¡Sí se puede!, Financial budget, Financial negotiations, Risks and insurance, which are part of the program developed by the Microserfin organization for both customers and non-customers. 

In recent years, Microserfin has supported with access to credit, microinsurance, assistance, financial education and business strengthening, approximately 560 migrants who, through the establishment of their productive units, have found a way to integrate into the Panamanian economy while supporting their families. 

For more information, contact IOM Panama's communications team via

SDG 1 - No Poverty
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities