|Subject:||[socialcredit] Fwd: [vfp-chaptercontacts] VFP Report-13 October DPI/NGO Briefing|
|Date:||Thursday, March 30, 2006 09:39:13 (-0800)|
|From:||Jeffery Smith <jjs @.........org>
Begin forwarded message:
>> DPI/NGO Briefing: The Role of Microfinance in Reaching the Poorest of
>> 13 October 2005
>> DPI/NGO Section held its weekly NGO briefing on 13 October, 2005, in
>> observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty,
>> the International Year of Microcredit. A video entitled
>> Microfinance in Their
>> Own Voices, produced by Sterling van Wagenen for the United
>> Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), was shown before the panel
>> Richard Weingarten of the UNCDP described his office's role of
>> providing grants to build public infrastructure and assisting
>> institutions in the least developed 28 countries, 18 of which are
>> conflict, with an average yearly income of $317. He said, "Capital
>> H.E. Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, UN Ambassador of Bangladesh,
>> said that the Grameen-Bank Bangladeshi model of microcredit is the
>> widely-replicated model in the world among microfinancing
>> Bangladesh is today the most successful developing country,
>> reaching a
>> record of 9% reduction in poverty between 1991 and 2000. (This is
>> still a
>> long way from the #1 Millennium Development Goal hoped-for halving
>> of world
>> poverty in the same time frame of 9 years, by 2015.) The poor
>> having no
>> traditional collateral use peer pressure in loan groups to achieve
>> pay back rates for their tiny loans, often much better than
>> standard finance.
>> Ambassador Chowdhury noted however that microcredit still does not
>> the poorest of the poor.
>> Ms.Sharmi Sobhan, Director of Fonkoze USA, explained the
>> work of Fonkoze, Haiti's largest microfinance institution. She
>> pointed out
>> that sometimes initiatives started by NGOs from a developed region
>> not be successful in reaching the poorest of the poor. Fonkoze has
>> this through its experience in Haiti and decided to implement the
>> of a Bangladeshi microfinance institution. They found that basic
>> and health information, and initial subsistence support to feed
>> their families
>> while they learned, allowed women to stay in the program.
>> Mr. Elias Hannema, Visiting Professor, European Union PHARE
>> wound up the panel discussion with delightful criticisms of
>> capitalism and the
>> "free" market, noting that Microcredit is still along way from
>> poverty. He quoted both Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, historical
>> for rampant capitalism, as noting class conflicts and unbalanced
>> He called for making the self-interest of cads a little more
>> consonant with that
>> of the regular people.
>> The panel discussion was followed by a question-and-answer session.
>> In response to a question of microfinance functioning effectively in
>> where there was a lack of rule of law, Mr.Weingarten said that even
>> rule of law was important, microfinance had proved to be very
>> creative and
>> able to adapt even where law was lacking.
>> A question was raised about how natural disasters affected
>> initiatives. Sharmi Sobhan said that in this case a non-traditional
>> was needed in order to help people get back on their feet by
>> providing interest
>> rate free loans over a year.
SMITH, Jeffery J., President, Forum on Geonomics
7536 SE Milwaukie Av, Portland Oregon 97202 USA
503/232-1337; email@example.com; www.geonomics.org
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