In a country with poverty that is already among the highest in the world, the devastating earthquake in Nepal this April caused more destruction and destitution than could have been imagined. The Nepal earthquake, estimated to have been a magnitude of 7.8 to 8.1, caused more than 8,800 deaths and 23,000 injuries. According to Nepali government officials, it will cost over $6.6 billion and at least five years to rebuild the country. More than one million people may be stranded in extreme hardship for quite a long time.
Local microfinance institutions have been working hard to triage their clients’ needs and thinking longer-term about the best response to this disaster. We have been in communication with Jyoti Chandra Ojha, CEO of the Rural Microfinance Development Centre Ltd. (RMDC), which is a wholesale lending organization in Nepal. Ojha has provided us with the information below concerning the Nepal microfinance sector’s response to the disaster. See how you can help RMDC and their MFI members Español | Français | Continue reading →
Temenos, Johnson & Johnson, and the World Savings Banks Institute join Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Central Bank of the Philippines) as sponsors of the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty Continue reading →
Poor people’s access to formal financial institutions is denied for they lack collateral and other security. The formal banking system deprives them of the right to borrow, save and invest in profit rearing activities and it is a major reason … Continue reading →
Congratulations to this week’s winner of the Raffle for Institutional Action Plan Submitters, BRAC Pakistan! Submit your IAP to be included in the next Raffle (download the IAP | submit your completed IAP) BRAC Pakistan’s Microfinance Program Microfinance is a … Continue reading →
At a USAID-sponsored event this September, Kim Wilson, Malcolm Harper and Matthew Griffith spoke about the premise of their co-authored book, “Financial Promise for the Poor: How Groups Build Savings” wherein they discuss a phenomenon that has been overshadowed by … Continue reading →
Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder of BRAC in Bangladesh and a pioneer in the fight to end poverty, will participate in the Africa-Middle East Regional Microcredit Summit to be held April 7-10, 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. Mr Abed’s name was included in HRH Queen Elizabeth of England’s New Year’s Honors List released on December 31, 2009. He will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his services tackling poverty.
Mr. Abed’s involvement in the Africa-Middle East Microcredit Summit mirrors BRAC’s entry into Africa. “I now want to build on this success,” said Mr. Abed responding to the honor, “to continue BRAC’s fight against poverty not only in Bangladesh but in eight other countries in the world where we are involved – Afghanistan, Uganda, Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Sri Lanka.”
Mr. Abed will join Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, CARE CEO Helene Gayle, and Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta at the Summit in Nairobi. The Summit is being co-organized by the Microcredit Summit Campaign, a project of RESULTS Educational Fund and the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Kenya (AMFI).
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal mentioned that “China’s economy may lead the region in many ways, but in one surprising area it is lagging behind: microfinance […] A casual observer might say China doesn’t need microfinance. After all, it is now the world’s third-largest economy. But beyond the prosperous cities, millions of people still languish in poverty. China has the second-largest number of poor after India. About 254 million people in China lived on less than $1.25 a day in 2005 (as measured in purchasing power parity dollars), according to the World Bank.”
The author points to the importance of microfinance as a tool to alleviate poverty and mentions China, despite its growing influence as an International player, still has an enormous number of people living in poverty. Also as they mention in the article, China’s government has a responsibility to consent to let microfinance play a role in the country. Hopefully soon the Chinese government will create a favorable environment for its citizens to benefits from microfinance. As worldwide microcredit and microfinance are showing great results, China could become part of it.
The Wall Street Journal published on September 4th an interesting article entitled Debunking Myths about the Poor and Financial Servicesby Suyash Rai, Senior Manager, and Sona Varma, Senior Advisor, with IFMR Trust, a private trust with the mission of ensuring complete access to financial services for individuals and enterprises in India.The poor are not credit worthy, finance falls lower in the ‘hierarchy’ of needs for the poor, below health or education,credit is the only financial service required by the poor and finally the poor are not sophisticated in using financial services. Read their full article to see how the two authors debunk those 4 major prejudices often held against microcredit.