Thursday, February 9, 2006
AFP, 7 February 2006 – Beggars in impoverished Bangladesh are to receive interest-free loans from US banking giant Citigroup to help them become self-employed, the bank said in a statement Tuesday.
The bank has donated 250,000 dollars to expand a four-year-old project run by micro-finance pioneer Grameen Bank.
Grameen is credited with developing a unique microcredit system that has been used by some five million people in Bangladesh and replicated worldwide over the last 30 years.
“Project Dignity aims to improve living standards for more than 2,500 beggars across the country and help them to find ways to lift themselves out of poverty,” the US financial giant said in the statement.
Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest countries with nearly half the 140 million population living on less than one dollar a day.
Begging, however, is looked down on and remains a last resort even for the very poor.