“Given the chance, the poor can empower themselves. We must never underestimate their talent and creativity to develop everyday strategies to survive. We must remember the close links between peace and development. Unless we can eradicate poverty, international efforts towards a more peaceful world will be frustrated. Help the poor help themselves”- UN General Assembly President , Sheikha Haya Al Khalifa
Where It Began:
The United Nations named 2005 the International Year of Microcredit to encourage the building of inclusive financial sectors to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Microcredit is a small amount of money loaned to a client by a bank or other institution. Microentrepreneurs use loans as small as $100 to grow thriving businesses that lead to opportunities to provide for their families and develop strong, flourishing economies.
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to microfinance banker and economist Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh in 2006.
Professor Yunus was acknowledged for his founding of the Grameen Bank, a pioneer of the microfinance movement, offering loans to some of the world’s poorest people, particularly women, who would otherwise have no access to such funds. Professor Yunus created Grameen because conventional banking opportunities were not available to as much as a third of the world’s population. The bank has become renowned for extraordinary high rates of repayment from its customers.
Supporting the Movement:
With your support AMF works with grassroots organizations that use microcredit as one piece of a whole plan for community development. Microfinance directly provides low-income people the tools to protect, diversify, and increase their source of income. In Africa, less then 10% of the adult population have bank accounts, this extremely low overall access to finance acts as a brake on growth and opportunity. AMF funds community development projects that promote economic development, assist women, help people move out of abject poverty and create income that is most commonly invested by women in the health and education of their children.
AMF works to strengthen civil societies and to empower women and children. Help us promote health, education, economic development and social change in some of the poorest areas of Africa.
“I believe this campaign will became one of the great humanitarian movements of history. This campaign will allow many of the world’s poorest people to free themselves from the bondage of poverty. Together we can succeed.”- Professor Muhammad Yunus – Grammen Bank
“The success of microcredit finance cannot be underestimated in transforming the struggle against poverty. For women it is the leading effort.”- KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary General
Hillary Rondom Clinton
“I have seen how microcredit works…the direct impact can revolutionize a life, the slightly large ripple effect can change attitudes and behavior and begin to alter the lives of small groups and even villages. It can even begin to tackle some of our stubborn problems with respect to public health and environmental protection, schooling rates for girls and boys access to affordable nutritional food, clean water and other social challenges.”