Myanmar: UK to Up Support For Credit Program
Naypyidaw, Myanmar, January, 16 2012 -
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development will provide an additional £10 million (US$15 million) for microfinance projects, a spokesperson said last week.
The head of DFID’s office in Myanmar, Mr Paul Whittingham, said on January 10 that the funding would be channelled through the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust (LIFT) fund to microfinance projects in Kachin, Chin, Rakhine and Shan states, the central dry zone and the Ayeyarwady delta.
Mr Whittingham said microfinance could play a major role in improving the economy in an equitable way.
“With more affordable credit and savings services – which our microfinance support is starting to provide – the economic activities of rural people, including farming and fishing, would be more profitable. People would have more money to improve their farms, buy better food, send their children to school and get health care when they are sick. At the moment, many people are unable to afford these things, which keeps people in poverty and puts a drag on the country’s economic growth,” Mr Whittingham said.
A recent UN report put the demand for micro loans at about $1 billion, with less than 10 percent of demand currently being met.
At press conference on January 6 at British Council, Britain’s foreign minister Mr William Hague said that UK funding for microfinance initiatives would assist up to 55,000 people.