Mourning the passing of a microfinance pioneer: Dr. Harihar Dev Pant

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HD Pant_karobar Daily
>>Authored by Dr. D.S.K. Rao, Regional Director for Asia-Pacific

We learned recently that a great friend of the Microcredit Summit Campaign died of lung cancer earlier this month. Dr. Harihar Dev Pant, a pioneer of microfinance in Nepal, started his career in microfinance as a deputy director in the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB, the country’s central bank), and went on to found one of the largest microfinance banks in Nepal, Nirdhan Utthan Bank Ltd. He was its chairman and CEO till near the end.

As the deputy governor of the central bank, Dr. Pant laid the foundation for microcredit in Nepal. Dr. Pant was greatly influenced by Prof. Muhammad Yunus (to the right) and was indoctrinated by the Nobel laureate into microfinance.

As the deputy governor he was responsible in creating five rural banks in Nepal specializing in microcredit operations and following the Grameen Bank lending methodology. Dr. Pant was the founder-chairman of the first two Grameen Bikas Banks in Nepal: Purbanchal Grameen Bikas Bank and Sudur Paschimanchal Grameen Bikas Bank. After his retirement from the central bank, he created Nirdhan Utthan Bank, which grew rapidly to become one of the largest MFIs in the country.

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#tbt: 2011 workshop paper on microfinance for remote, hard-to-reach areas

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#Tbt_18
In 2011, we commissioned more than 40 papers to accompany the workshops and plenaries organized at our Global Microcredit Summit 2011. This week’s #ThrowbackThursday is a great opportunity to review the wealth of knowledge generated by the Summit. Listen to the audio recording from the workshop here.


What is the Cutting Edge for Microfinance in Remote, Hard to Reach Areas?

Authors: Anne Hastings and Steven Werlin

Introduction

Maximizing access to financial services in remote rural areas requires us to face a range of challenges that demand, in turn, a range of solutions. The problem is no more uniform than the regions that the services need to get to or the nature of the services required.

Access is not an end in itself but merely an important means towards progress for rural families and the communities they inhabit. That means that there are two sides to the question of access. On one hand, we must ask: what are the most effective ways to deliver financial services to especially hard-to-reach areas. Getting standard financial services to some areas presents significant challenges. On the other, there are distinct products and services that can help families living in remote rural areas in important ways. In other words, there is both a question of delivery of services and a separate question of the design of those services. In this paper, we have chosen to focus almost exclusively on the delivery of services.

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The Nepal microfinance sector’s earthquake response

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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
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Institutional Action Plan Raffle Winner: GBSSL in Nepal

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Congratulations to this week’s winner of the Raffle for Institutional Action Plan submitters, Global Bahumukhi Sahakari Sanstha Limited of Nepal! EspañolFrançais Continue reading

Further media coverage of ‘Vulnerability’

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Today, Campaign director Larry R. Reed facilitated a webinar hosted by the Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (University of New Hampshire) as part of their 2013 webinar series. Larry was joined by panelists Chandra Shekhar Ghosh (Chairman and Managing Director, … Continue reading