Bulletin Board

Grameen Trust presented the institutional action plan of its partner Grameen replication projects in an associated session of the second Microcredit Summit Meeting of Councils held in Abidjan on June 24-26, 1999. CARD Philippines, SHARE, India and LAPO, Nigeria, three Grameen Trust partners, also shared their institutional action plans at the meeting. GT’s partners believe that the target of reaching 10 million of the poorest families is achievable provided their funding and training requirements are met on time.

In a meeting of the Grameen Global Network (GGN) organized by GT in the Meeting of Councils on 26 June, 1999. GGN members and other participants discussed the problems faced by practitioners in mobilizing resources to work towards reaching the goal of MCS.

The Asian Development Bank has approved a regional technical assistance grant of US$400,000 to prepare a microfinance strategy.

Microfinance � providing the poor with loans, savings facilities and other financial services such as insurance � is recognized as a powerful tool for poverty reduction and has been particularly successful in countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.

However, despite the rapid growth in microfinance services in the region, an estimated less than 5 percent of poor households in the Asia and Pacific region have access to formal financial services. The ADB�s strategy will include expanding access of the poor to such services. An ADB Task Force on Microfinance will carry out in country consultations in several

of the Bank’s developing member countries. Other activities under the technical assistance will include a regional workshop in Manila to obtain further inputs for the strategy and a study of the role of central banks in microfinance development.

The consultations and the study will cover 12 countries: Bangladesh, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.

Grameen Trust fielded a mission to two partner organizations in Cameroun after the Microcredit Summit Meeting of Councils, in Abidjan in June. The first organization, BERDSCO, has provided credit to 400 very poor members, 90% of whom are women, through two branches in Southwest and Northwest provinces of Cameroun respectively. The recently setup microcredit program of VOCADER is operating in Kumbo, also in the Northwest province. It began its activities in March 1999 and is working exclusively with very poor women.

A meeting of the Grameen Global Network (GGN) took place during the mission in Cameroun at which participants were updated on the activities of GGN and the Microcredit Summit campaign. This was followed by the establishment of the Cameroun Grameen Network of which Mr Forzi Ngu, executive director of BERDSCO was made the coordinator.

Choice has already incorporated many of the successful Grameen principles into its rural entrepreneur development programs and plans to expand its efforts to work more closely with the Grameen as rapidly as possible.

We invite you  whether you represent a company, foundation or yourself as a concerned individual to join with us in expanding the program. This in an endeavor with tremendous short and long-term potential because of the fact that, within five years these local banking systems are designed to be self-sustaining. The interest earned covers the administrative costs and salaries of the local bank workers. Choice hopes to find sponsors willing to help expand this program in four areas over the next two years. Contact at the following address:

James B Mayfield
Choice Humanitarian
The Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Intercultural Exchange
P.O. Box 11186 Salt Lake City,
Utah 84147-0186

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