Record 128 Million of World’s Poorest Received Microloan in 2009

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More than 128 million of the world’s poorest families received a microloan in 2009-an all-time high, according to a report released today by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Assuming an average of five persons per family, this means that loans to 128 million poorest clients affected some 641 million family members, which is greater than the combined population of the European Union and Russia. Microloans are used to help people living in poverty start or expand a range of small businesses, such as selling basic staples, producing handicrafts, and delivering cell phone services to remote villages.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus participated in the news conference by video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is featured in the report in box on social business.

“Microcredit has very effectively lifted millions of poor women and their families out of poverty,” said U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer. “With the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day being celebrated onMarch 8th, it is gratifying to see that over 81 percent of the very poor who received microloans were women – that is more than 100 million people. Women entrepreneurs are one of the smartest investments in microfinance. Not only have they shown strong returns in the success of their businesses, but they consistently have demonstrated high loan repayment rates and they re-invest in their families and their communities.”

Source: PR Newswire (link opens in a new window)