Expanding Microcredit Outreach to Reach Print
Expanding Microcredit Outreach to Reach the Millennium Development Goal-
Some Issues for Attention.

Muhammad Yunus

Microcredit Global Picture

Microcredit Summit of 1997 set the goal to reach 100 million poorest families with microcredit, along with other financial services, preferably through the women in those families by 2005. In the recently held Microcredit Summit +5 in NY, we have just reviewed the progress towards achieving this goal during the last five years. Figures compiled by the Microcredit Summit Campaign show that by the end of 2001, more that 54 million families around the world have benefited from microcredit. Of this number, 26.8 million are among the poorest, or those who live under US $ 1 a day. This is impressive progress from 1997 when we could count only 7.6 million poorest families.

These figures are based on the best available third-party verified institutional data collected from over two thousand organizations that are working to implement the Summit goal of 2005. I made a guess that by the end of 2002 we'll have reached at least 35 million poorest families with microcredit. If this turns out to be close to the real figure, this would indeed be significant progress. This would mean that we have crossed over a quarter of the path by 2001 and over a third of the path by 2002, and most likely we'll cross the half-way mark or 50 million families, by 2003. Once we cross the half-way mark, we'll be better equipped psychologically and institutionally to cover the remaining half of the long journey. If this works out, it will mean that we have a good chance to make it to 100 million, or reasonably close to it, by 2005.

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