Microfinance is an International Development success story, with steady growth since the 1970’s and its emergence as a key tool to fight poverty, recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. These days, though, there are a growing number of concerns with the microfinance sector: lack of regulation, the influx of private capital and the pursuit of microfinance as an investment tool. This month we look at what is really going on, and how we can 'reclaim' microfinance for the betterment of the poor.
While enrollment figures demonstrate that much progress has been made on girls’ education, the use of such figures create a tendency to ‘minimally achieve the targets’ set for the achievement of the education-related MDGs. New measurements on gender and education are needed to better reflect reality and efforts made by developing countries governments and donors should be channeled to ensure that children complete their education and that the school system is functional for all students.
I post this reply from MEP Mary Honeyball on behalf of Jane Smith.
TB kills 1.7 million people every year or 4,500 every day. TB is also the biggest killer of people living with HIV and the third largest cause of death among women of reproductive age. Unlike AIDS, TB is treatable and curable in all but the most extreme cases. What is lacking is not the relevant medical know-how, but the political will and funds to combat the disease.
This month we will be visiting our newly-elected MPs to help them to understand how they can become strong champions for international development. We will be looking in detail at the upcoming G8 summit in Canada in June, at which there are plans to announce a major initiative designed to tackle the millions of mothers and children dying from preventable causes every year. UK support, including financial support, is crucial to this initiative.