Posts Tagged ‘Mikrokredit’

Global: Mikrokredite – Zweifel bleiben

Sonntag, Juni 24th, 2012

“Micro Credit: Questions Haunt

By Tom Heinemann

24 June, 2012

NRK

[Following are extracts of two articles by the Danish journalist Tom Heinemann (tomheinemann@gmail.com) and published on the Norwegian television website, NRK, www.nrk.no/brennpunkt.]

Built on Foundations of Sand

NRK 17.06.2012

A group of researchers lead by Maren Duvendack, was assigned by DFID to make a Systematic Review of a great number of evaluation reports and impact assessments on microfinance projects. Their job was to find the documented evidence that the projects work as planned, and contribute to eradication of poverty.
I think that the enthusiasm for microfinance might have been build on foundations of sand and we might have been better advised to look for alternatives, says Duvendack, when interviewed by NRK Brennpunkt.

The challenges in the microfinance sector are well acknowledged by now, and also widely discussed. A series of studies have been published the past years. But these two stand out as special, because of their broad scope of untypical methodology. Duvendack’s group and a group headed by Ruth Stewart both chose «Systematic Reviews» as their methods. In Stewart’s case, her group scanned through an initial pile of 6,000 reports from microfinance projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What you end up with is a system which is about making profit, but is also making a profit of the poorest people in the world, and those two things don’t sit comfortably together, Stewart says.

Changes ahead

Now is the time for changes in policies. Among those who are changing focus, are Norwegian aid authorities.

For governments, such a new focus can be more on assessing quality of existing projects, more evaluations. There are discussions over tools, as Credit Checks and Debt Registers, tools that more mature finance markets have dealt with for decades, but which the microdebt markets have lacked. There is also a discussion over a potential maximum interest rate.

The Duvendack report is now part of the advice British authorities bases their future policies on. Maren Duvendack is a researcher at the ODI (Overseas Development Institute).

– What did you find in your work?

– We found out that most of these studies were based on weak methodologies and inadequate data, says Duvendack.

– Based on our review, we could not reach any firm conclusions, as to whether microfinance work or does not work because the evidence was limited and rather weak.

Lack of Evidence

The researchers were surprised by the lack of evidence that microfinance removes poverty.

– I thought it was amazing that the evidence is actually rather weak and not very convincing, giving that there had been so many microfinance impact evaluations over the last two decades, and still after two decades we don’t know how microfinance works, and for whom it actually works, she says.

After more than two decades, where Norad and others have given massive support for microfinance projects, mainly microcredit loans, these researchers say it is wrong to say microfinance is the only possible solution to the poverty problems.

By the end of 2010, another Systematic Review was published. This time from Sub-Saharan Africa, written by researchers from the University of London and from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Again, the conclusion was that most of the previously made impact assessments were worthless. Only 15 of the 6,000 reports the team scanned through was considered of such a quality that one could learn from them.

Good for some

Despite the lack of quality on most reports, the researchers did find some good news:

– We found that microfinance does do good for some people, particular in areas for example like investing in housing, which clients seems to benefit from. Not necessary being able to build your own house but they do benefit, Ruth Stewart says.

Negative effects on education

But there were negative effects also. In some cases, the children paid the price when the families’ micro loans where difficult to handle.

– For some people microfinance was actually reducing their levels of education of their children, so it was doing harm.

Ruth Stewart tells us about boys in Malawi who had to repeat years in school and girls who where completely delayed in school enrollment. The fact that their parents, in these cases, took out loans were damaging the children’s education.

– So the idea that we treat the poor differently, and somehow expect that a very small loan at a high interest rate is going to produce those kinds of things, it doesn’t make sense, Stewart says.

Debt-spiral of micro loans

NRK 17.06.2012

Roy Mersland, researcher and Centre director at the Norwegian Centre for Microfinance research, said to the newspaper Fædrelandsvennen that Mohammed Yunus should have been given an award for innovative banking instead of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Roy Mersland still believes in microfinance as a tool for eradicating poverty. But his opinion is that many have had an unbalanced approach to the sector.

- At first, we had many years where those who believed in microcredit only presented the positive sides of microloans. The past year, the pendulum has swung. There are more critical research reports.

-And in the media, one is suddenly more interested in the negative effects. The truth is probably somewhere in between, and has been, all the time, he says.
NRK wonders what, in his opinion, has been the achievements in the microfinance research the past years.

- All research is founded on theories and hypothesis. One such theory behind microfinance is that of «financial intermediation», that it is important that money is in circulation. In other words, that local savings are made accessible for those who want to invest in, for instance, a house or in a new business.

- This theory is still strong in our research community, but there are others that have been more difficult to find proof for.

- Which ones?

- One of the theories has been that lack of capital has been one of the most important factors for the poor. If a lack of access to credit is stopping them from starting new businesses and projects, then small and quick loans could be a good answer to this challenge. With help from new research, we can now see that this theory needs to be developed further. Of course, capital is a required factor in developing new business, but capital is not enough in itself, Mersland says.

Credit check

Mersland acknowledges the challenges with interest rates in some projects are very high, and that poor families take multiple microloans. This can in some instances lead to a debt-spiral of microloans.

One possible answer to the problem is to have credit checks and a national register over microloans.

Mersland believes this may be a good idea.

Another suggestion which is being debated is a possible maximum interest rate on microloans. Mersland sees that high interest rates may contribute to institutions not doing enough to keep their costs low.

Yet, he is critical towards a strict maximum interest rate:

- If interest rates are cut so low that there is no margin left for the companies lending out money, we risk that they of out of business. That would be very unfortunate for the customers.

- When millions of poor families choose these loans, it is because they think this is the best alternative, amongst many. We should be careful, and not take away this option that they see as best in their own situation, he says.

Cash loans

- What new knowledge have we gained from research in this area that helps on the negative side-effects we know from some microfinance projects?

- Well, this is not new knowledge, but the theory on income smoothing has been strengthened the past years. The poor does not have a smooth low income. Even in Norway, a rich country, we do a lot to smooth the flow of income. We have “holiday-money” in the summer, and a month with half tax-levels before Christmas, and we have pensions when we get old.

- Imagine a poor farmer with all his income bound in the crops he can harvest twice every year. His income does not come evenly throughout the year. Small loans can smooth his income, and have a stabilizing effect on a family’s economy.

- Are you talking about cash loans now?

- In a Norwegian context, cash loans have a negative sound. But in the contexts we are talking about here, small loans to smooth a family’s consumption may have a positive effect. We should also not forget the other tools within the microfinance sector. Microcredits are not the only tools. I believe, in the future, we will se more focus on insurance and savings, other financial tools that have already proven well on a micro level.”

 

(Quelle: Countercurrents.org)

Afrika: Die Strategie der Weltbank

Freitag, Juni 24th, 2011

The World Bank’s Africa Strategy

Neoliberalism, Poverty and Ecological Destruction

By PATRICK BOND

A renewed wave of development babble began flowing soon after the February launch of the World Bank’s ten-year Strategy document, “Africa’s Future and the World Bank’s Support to It”. Within three months, a mini-tsunami of Afro-optimism swept in: the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Economic Outlook for SubSaharan Africa, the Economic Commission on Africa’s upbeat study, the African World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Report, and the African Development Bank’s discovery of a vast new “middle class” (creatively defined to include the 20% of Africans whose expenditures are $2-4/day).

Drunk on their own neoliberal rhetoric, the multilateral establishment swoons over the continent’s allegedly excellent growth and export prospects, in the process downplaying underlying structural oppressions in which they are complicit: corrupt power relations, economic vulnerability, worsening Resource Curses, land grabs and threats of environmental chaos and disease.

These are merely mentioned in passing in the Bank’s Africa Strategy – the most comprehensive of these neoliberal-revival tracts – but a frank, honest accounting of the author’s role is inconceivable, even after an internal Independent Evaluation Group report scathing of mistakes the last time around. That effort, the 2005 Africa Action Plan (AAP), was associated with the G-8’s big-promise little-delivery Summit in Gleneagles.

The Bank admits the AAP was a “top-down exercise, prepared in a short time with little consultations with clients and stakeholders”, and that the “performance of the Bank’s portfolio in the Region” was lacking. Tellingly, the Bank confesses, “People who had to implement the plan did not have much engagement with, and in some cases were not even aware of, the AAP.”

Tyrants and democrats

Though in 2021 the same will probably be said of this Strategy, the Bank claims its antidote is “face-to-face discussions with over 1,000 people in 36 countries.” However, as quotes from attendees prove, the Bank could regurgitate only the most banal pablum.

Nor does the Strategy propose grand new alliances (e.g. with the Gates Foundation). There is just a quick nod to two civilized-society partners, the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (Harare) and African Economic Research Consortium (Nairobi) which together have educated 3000 local neoliberals, the Bank proudly remarks.

Embarrassingly, the Bank hurriedly stoops to endorse three continental institutions: the African Union (AU), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (founded by former SA president Thabo Mbeki in 2001) and African Peer Review Mechanism (2003). The latter two are usually described as outright failures.

As for the former, there were once high hopes that the AU would respond to Africa’s socio-political and economic aspirations, but not only did Muammar Gaddafi exercise a strong grip as AU president and source of no small patronage.

Horace Campbell pointed out other leadership contradictions in Pambazuka News in March: “That the current leaders of Africa could support the elevation of Teodoro Obiang Nguema to be the chairperson of this organisation pointed to the fact that most of these leaders such as Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Republic of Congo, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Omar al-Bashir of Sudan , Paul Biya of Cameroon, Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Ali Bongo of Gabon, King Mswati III of Swaziland, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, and Yahya Jammeh of Gambia are not serious about translating the letters of the Constitutive Act into reality.”

These sorts of rulers are the logical implementers of the Bank Strategy. No amount of bogus consultations with civilized society can disguise the piling up of Odious Debts on African societies courtesy of the Bank, IMF and their allied strongmen borrowers.

Yet these men are nowhere near as strong as the Bank assumes, when reproducing a consultancy’s map of countries considered to have “low” levels of “state fragility”, notably including Tunisia and Libya – just as the former tyranny fell and the latter experienced revolt.

In contrast, the Africa Strategy makes no mention whatsoever of those pesky, uncivil-society democrats who are opposed to Bank partner-dictators. Remarks Pambazuka editor Firoze Manji, “Their anger is being manifested in the new awakenings that we have witnessed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Djibouti, Botswana, Uganda, Swaziland, and South Africa. These awakenings are just one phase in the long struggle of the people of Africa to reassert control over our own destinies, to reassert dignity, and to struggle for self-determination and emancipation.”

Unsound African architecture

The Bank will continue standing in their way by funding oppressors, leaving the Africa Strategy with a structurally-unsound, corny architectural metaphor: “The strategy has two pillars – competitiveness and employment, and vulnerability and resilience – and a foundation – governance and public-sector capacity.”

Setting aside hypocritical governance rhetoric, the first pillar typically collapses because greater competitiveness often requires importing machines to replace workers (hence South Africa’s unemployment rate doubled through post-apartheid economic restructuring). And Bank advice to all African countries to do the same thing – export! – exacerbates mineral or cash crop gluts, such as were experienced from 1973 until the commodity boom of 2002-08.

The Bank Strategy also faces “three main risks: the possibility that the global economy will experience greater volatility; conflict and political violence; and resources available to implement the strategy may be inadequate.”

These are not just risks but certainties, given that world economic managers left unresolved all the problems causing the 2008-09 meltdown; that resource-based conflicts will increase as shortages emerge (oil especially as the Gulf of Guinea shows); and that donors will be chopping aid budgets for years to come. Still, while the Bank retains “some confidence that these risks can be mitigated”, in each case its Strategy actually amplifies them.

It is self-interested – but not strategic for Africa – for the Bank to promote further exports from African countries already suffering extreme primary commodity dependency. Economically, the Strategy is untenable, what with European countries cracking up and defaulting, Japan stagnant, the US probably entering a double-dip recession, and China and India madly competing with Western mining houses and bio-engineering firms for African resources and land grabs. Nowhere can be found any genuine intent of assisting Africa to industrialise in a balanced way.

The Bank’s bland counterclaim: “While Africa, being a relatively small part of the world economy, can do little to avoid such a contingency, the present strategy is designed to help African economies weather these circumstances better than before.” But these are not “circumstances” and “contingencies”: they are core features of North-South political economy from which Africa should be seeking protection.

Neoliberalism, poverty and ecological destruction

A poignant example is the Bank’s warm endorsement of Kenyan cut-flower trade in spite of worsening water stress, commodity price volatility and inclement carbon-tax constraints. Nevertheless, “Between 1995 and 2002, Kenya’s cut flower exports grew by 300 percent” – while nearby peasant agriculture suffered crippling water shortages, a problem not worth mentioning in Bank propaganda.

Where will water storage and power come from? Bank promotion of megadams (such as Bujagali in Uganda or Inga in the DRC) ignores the inability of poor people to pay for hydropower, not to mention worsening climate-related evaporation, siltation or tropical methane emissions.

Other silences are revealing, such as in this Bank confession of prior multilateral silo-mentality: “Focusing on health led to a neglect of other factors such as water and sanitation that determine child survival.” The reason water was underfunded following Jeffrey Sachs’ famous 2001 World Health Organisation macroeconomic report was partly that his analysts didn’t accurately assess why $130 billion in borehole and piping investments failed during the 1980s-90s: insufficient subsidies to cover operating and maintenance deficits.

Lack of subsidies for basic infrastructure is an ongoing problem, in part because “the G-8 promise of doubling aid to Africa has fallen about $20 billion short.” So as a result, “the present strategy emphasizes partnerships – with African governments, the private sector and other development partners,” even though Public-Private Partnerships rarely work. Most African privatized water systems have fallen apart.

South Africa has had many such failed experiments, in every sector. The latest Bank loan to Pretoria, for $3.75 billion (its largest-ever project loan) is itself a screaming rebuttal to the Strategy’s claim that “the Bank’s program in Africa will emphasize sustainable infrastructure. The approach goes beyond simply complying with environmental safeguards. It seeks to help countries develop clean energy strategies that choose the appropriate product mix, technologies and location to promote both infrastructure and the environment.”

That loan also caused extreme electricity pricing inequity and legitimation of corrupt African National Congress construction tenders. This generated condemnation of the government by its own investigators and of the Bank by even Johannesburg’s Business Day newspaper, normally a reliable ally.

South African workers would also take issue with a Bank assumption: “The regulation of labor (in South Africa, for instance) often constrains businesses… In some countries, such as South Africa (where the unemployment rate is 25 percent), more flexibility in the labor market will increase employment.”

This view, expressed occasionally by the Bank’s aggressively neoliberal Africa chief economist, Shanta Devarajan, is refuted not only by 1.3 million lost jobs in 2009-10 but by the September 2010 International Monetary Fund Article IV consultation analysis, which puts SA near the top of world labour flexibility rankings, trailing only the US, Britain and Canada.

There are other neoliberal dogmas, e.g., “Microfinance, while growing, has huge, untapped potential in Africa.” The Bank apparently missed the world microfinance crisis symbolized by the firing of Muhammad Yunus as Grameen executive (just as the Strategy was released), the many controversies over usurious interest rates, or the 200,000 small farmer suicides in Andra Pradesh, India in recent years due to unbearable microdebt loads.

The Bank also endorses cellphones, allegedly “becoming the most valuable asset of the poor. The widespread adoption of this technology – largely due to the sound regulatory environment and entrepreneurship – opens the possibility that it could serve as a vehicle for transforming the lives of the poor.” The Bank forgets vast problems experienced in domestic cellphone markets, including foreign corporate ownership and control.

And as for what is indeed “the biggest threat to Africa because of its potential impact, climate change could also be an opportunity. Adaptation will have to address sustainable water management, including immediate and future needs for storage, while improving irrigation practices as well as developing better seeds.” Dangers to the peasantry and to urban managers of the likely 7 degree rise and worsened flooding/droughts are underplayed, and opportunities for wider vision for a post-carbon Africa are ignored, such as the importance of the North (including the World Bank itself) paying its vast climate debt to Africa.

“An African Consensus”?

Compared to Bank funding for insane mega-projects such as the $3.75 billion lent to South Africa to build the world’s fourth largest coal-fired power plant last April, not much is at stake in the Strategy’s portfolio: $2.5 billion/year over the decade-long plan.

Nevertheless, the Africa Strategy hubris is dangerous not only for diverging from reality so obviously, but for seeking a route from Bank Strategy to “an African consensus.” The Bank commits to “work closely with the AU, G-20 and other fora to support the formulation of Africa’s policy response to global issues, such as international financial regulations and climate change, because speaking with one voice is more likely to have impact.”

Does Africa need a sole neoliberal voice claiming “consensus”, speaking from shaky pillars atop crumbling foundations based on false premises and corrupted processes, piloting untenable projects, allied with incurable tyrants, impervious to demands for democracy and social justice? If so, the Bank has a Strategy already unfolding.

And if all goes well with the status quo, the Strategy’s predictions for 2021 include a decline in the poverty rate by 12 percent and at least five countries entering the ranks of middle-income economies (candidates are Ghana, Mauritania, Comoros, Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia).

More likely, though, is worsening uneven development and growing Bank irrelevance as Africans continue courageously protesting neoliberalism and dictatorship, in search of both free politics and socio-economic liberation.

Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Civil Society in Durban: http://ccs.ukzn.ac.za

 

(Quelle: CounterPunch.)

Bangladesh: Die Geschichte der Grameen Bank

Donnerstag, April 28th, 2011

“The Story of Dr. Yunus And Grameen Bank

By Badruddin Umar

The government of Bangladesh did not snatch away Nobel Peace Prize from Dr. Muhammad Yunus which was bestowed on him by the imperialist powers, and in any case they have no power to do so. They simply have removed him from his post of managing director of Grameen Bank on legal grounds. This was done according to the rules of the Bangladesh Bank and the law of the land. The merit of this action was examined by the High Court, where Yunus filed a case appealing against the government decision. The High Court dismissed the writ after hearing from both sides. The case has been dismissed again by the Supreme Court as well.

The said action of the government against Yunus was taken for certain irregularities committed by him and it is a domestic matter of Bangladesh . We find that those imperialist powers, particularly the US government and the Clinton clique, who manipulated the Nobel Prize for Yunus, have very sharply and bitterly reacted against this decision of the government.

For a long time we have been critically analysing the activities of Yunus and the Grameen Bank just for the reason that very tall claims are being made on behalf of the Bank and for himself by Yunus. He claims to have invented a theory which says that the right to secure loan is a ‘birth right’ of man. He claims that by extending loan to the poor, he has been successful in alleviating poverty in Bangladesh to a large extent and by 2030 he would send poverty to the museum as a relic of the past. While making this obviously ludicrous claim he exposes himself as a person who miserably fails to understand that poverty is not a thing, it is not an archaeological artifact, but the result of relations which exist between people in the course of production and other social affairs.

The Grameen Bank undoubtedly is a successful operator of small loans to rural poor like many NGOs, and has established a record in this which is far better than the ordinary commercial banks. For this achievement the Grameen Bank may be awarded an international award for its success in managing small loans. But it must be emphasised that it has nothing to do with peace. Moreover, Yunus himself was never found to protest against any kind of repressions on the people which are perpetuated by government agencies and other predator social forces. He was never found to utter a word against military interventions, aggressions and predatory wars of imperialists on countries of Asia , Africa and Latin America . He was never found to play any role in easing tensions or establishing peace between conflicting interests and groups in Bangladesh or anywhere else. He actually had never anything to do with peace. On the contrary, he had always fraternised with those who make wars and disturb peace at home and abroad. In spite of this he was awarded Nobel Prize for peace by the imperialist cliques to promote their political and other interests in Bangladesh . It was no surprise that he was given the Nobel Prize in 2006 suddenly on the eve of the military takeover of the administration in January, 2007.

Yunus managed the affairs of the Grameen Bank as an autocrat and like any other autocrat he had no compunction in committing irregularities. He was not accountable to anybody and did everything in a cavalier manner. He exercised the authority of appointing all employees and even directors. His appointment as Managing Director of the Bank had always been basically an act of his own, and in these matters the role of the Board of Directors was nominal. He took all major decisions over the head of the Board of Directors of which he was not a member. If the relation of Managing Director and the Board of Directors is examined, it will be found to be a very extraordinary arrangement. The Board always acted as an utterly subservient body to the Managing Director.

In all regards, the rules of Grameen  Bank were extraordinary and the concessions granted to it by the government in conducting its affairs was in contradiction with all banking practices followed in this country. However, these administrative matters including the rules of conducting the business of Grameen Bank are not a matter of our real concern and we leave it to the Enquiry Committee which has been instituted by the government to investigate into the affairs of the Bank. Our real concern is the situation on the ground.

Here it is not possible to detail the consequences of small loan business of the Grameen Bank. But one thing must be made clear. We are not opposed to small loans or micro credit, because such loans are desperately needed by the rural poor, particularly the peasants and artisans who are engaged in production. Rural money lenders had always acted as such loan-giving agents for centuries during the feudal period and they still continue to do so. Fraudulently and mischievously, Yunus is glorified as the first ‘banker to the poor’ who has redeemed the poor of the countryside, particularly the poor women whereas the fact is that the traditional rural moneylenders have historically performed the task of lending to the poor. Even the NGO’s who were launched by the then World Bank President Robert McNamara in the ‘70s started lending to the poor before the establishment of the Grameen Bank.

The NGO’s and the Grameen Bank were launched by the imperialists with the active help and co-operation of the government not for alleviating or eradicating poverty. Their principal objective in this was to perpetuate poverty and to distract the attention of the poor from political struggles for changing basic relations of production as well as social relations which create and preserve the conditions of poverty. Here there is no scope for elaborating this point but it is necessary to mention that the greatest noise is made for the Grameen Bank and its so-called mission for eradicating poverty by those who are the recognised enemies of the poor working people of the world including the people of Bangladesh . These noise makers represent the forces which exploit the poor everywhere, twist the hands of poor countries dependent on them and do not have the slightest compunction in wantonly attacking countries which dare to resist their advances. These are the countries which unhesitatingly bomb the poor in other countries and commit genocide as they recently did in Iraq and are currently doing in Afghanistan , Pakistan and Libya .

The reaction of these forces which include imperialist countries like the US, France, Britain, Germany and others of Europe and elsewhere and their lackeys and flunkeys in countries like Bangladesh is a clear indication of the interest which Dr. Yunus serves. It is insane to think that against whose removal from the post of Managing Director of Grameen Bank the imperialist powers are raising a hue and cry can, by any stretch of imagination, be a friend of the poor in any country and who can lead a programme for eradicating or even alleviating poverty of those who are subjected to the worst kind of exploitation by local ruling classes, governments and imperialist powers.

In this context, it is interesting to note that the loanees or borrowers of Grameen Bank, in no area of Bangladesh, has so far brought  out any demonstration in favour or Yunus and against the government decision to remove him from the post of Managing Director. Recently, a handout of Grameen Bank says that about three million loanees have signed a protest statement against Yunus’ removal. But demonstrations and protest statements are very different acts. It is very easy to get any paper signed by the loanees by local Grameen Bank officials.

And even then, there is no certain evidence that such a statement has actually been signed by 3 million loanees. The whole matter may be a lie and a fraudulent propaganda on behalf of a section of Grameen Bank officials loyal to Yunus.

In spite of this lack of support for Yunus from the Grameen Bank, loanees who are said to be the ‘real owners’ of the Bank, it is amazing to see the kind of international support organised in favour of Yunus. They eulogise the achievements of Dr. Yunus in order of protect his position in the Grameen Bank. Under the presidentship of a former president of Ireland , a ‘committee of friends of Grameen’ has been formed with its headquarters in Paris . On 30th March in a question-answer session of the French National Assembly, the French foreign minister Alain Juppe said, ‘‘the Grameen Bank’s micro credit model has been unanimously recognised as a ‘magnificently successful’ poverty alleviation tool and replicated across the world, particularly to help empower women in developing countries” (Daily Star 1.4.2011). This statement of the French minister is no exception. The likes of this statement are being issued regularly by imperialist representatives and their flunkeys in Bangladesh . But the fact is that except the people who issue such statement no one recognises Grameen Bank micro credit model as ‘magnificently successful’ in alleviating poverty in Bangladesh . No one recognises the role to Grameen Bank in empowering women in Bangladesh .

Women in Bangladesh are subjected to various kinds of exploitations and repressions all over the country, particularly in the rural areas. The poor women in the countryside are still the most oppressed among the people and are regularly victimised by the rural exploiters and oppressors including the mullahs who often deliver fatwas against them. Dr. Yunus of Grameen Bank fame was never found to protest, in any form, against such atrocities.

It does not require any great learning or wisdom to theoretically understand that poverty alleviation and empowerment of woman have noting to do with money-lending business whatever may be the terms of such lending. Even a modest survey of the situation on the ground in the rural areas reveals to any one that there has not been any perceptible poverty alleviation through disbursement of rural credit by the Grameen Bank or any other NGOs, though there may be some exceptional cases where some loanees have been able to improve their financial situation by making clever use of such loans.

No elaborate discussion on the ‘achievement’ of Yunus is necessary to emphasise the point that his main achievement is management of the lending operation of the Grameen Bank. Its business has been extended to very large areas in Bangladesh , the number of borrowers from the Bank has reached, according to their own statement, up to more than eight million and that through a special mechanism of control its rate or realisation is 98%! This success would not have been possible without massive foreign financial contribution and many special concessions and privileges granted by the government to this Bank which are not available to other commercial banks.

The function of this banking business of Grameen is no different from that of traditional small loan business operated for hundreds of years by rural money lenders called mohajons . Basically, it helps small production carried out by peasants and artisans and various kinds of small scale economic activities. Thus the relentless propaganda carried out by imperialist circles and their flunkeys in Bangladesh has nothing to do with the actual work and ‘achievements’ of the Grameen Bank and its famous Managing Director Dr. Yunus claims that the eight million loanees are the owners of the Bank and that they are regularly paid dividends. This claim is completely false and fraudulent. Any investigation on the ground reveals that no loanee  of the Bank has any ownership document and more of them has any paper related to dividend  no one reports to have ever received any dividend. But the stereotyped and ceaseless imperialist propaganda goes on and their international media, both electronic and print, extensively carry out such propaganda to which many well-meaning people fall victims.

Bangladesh Bank and the government of Bangladesh have removed Yunus from the post of Managing Director. The imperialists are saying that without him Grameen Bank would cease to function as an ‘alleviator of poverty’ and will lose its character. It is a completely false and motivated propaganda because, as has been said earlier, it has no such character. What actually may happen after his removal is a series of reforms in Grameen Bank’s operational practice which will bring some relief to the borrowers and reduce the profit of the Bank.

It may also reduce the inflow of foreign capital into the Bank and weaken the position of Dr. Yunus as an agent of multinational corporations who promote his ‘social business’.

The imperialists, through their massive image-building propaganda have tried to elevate Yunus to the position of a demigod, a redeemer of the poor and the downtrodden. They have tried to portray his activities as a panacea of poverty and a means of empowerment of women. The main objective in building up the image of Yunus in this manner is twofold. First to use him for opening investment opportunities for exploiting surplus from the poor of the country and secondly, and more importantly to use him for political purposes. This became quite obvious when he was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2006, on the eve of military takeover of the Bangladesh government in which the US and the Europeans had a hand. Subsequently, Yunus attempted to usurp political power taking advantage of the then existing situation by trying to organise his own political party. His attempt failed miserably because of his complete personal inability to understand the political process and to take appropriate stops for building a party. Consequently, he soon proved himself to be a political flop. But the imperialists have not given up the hope of using him as their pawn in the political game which they may need to play in times of crisis. It is for this reason that the Norwegian government, after accusing him of financial dishonesty quickly retracted their position in order to save his image by exonerating him from charges which they themselves made against him.

The consternation in the imperialist circles after the removal of Yunus from the position of Managing Director of the Bank and the lining up of the NGOs and the gentlemen of the Bangladesh civil society behind him has completely exposed the true character of Yunus. It has also exposed the faces of persons and institutions in this country who act in the interest of imperialism as their flunkeys. It has clearly demonstrated that Yunus, the much advertised ‘banker to the poor’ does not really represent the interest of the poor and the downtrodden in this country, but that of their national and international exploiters and oppressors. Whether may be the conspiracy of the imperialists, it will be difficult for them to use Dr. Yunus, with his ‘shining’ anti-people and anti-poor image, as their political instrument on any future occasion of political crisis.

Badruddin Umar is a leading Marxist politician and historian in Bangladesh .”

 

(Quelle: Countercurrents.org.)

Bangladesch: Mikrokredite – Das Ende des Spagats?

Sonntag, März 6th, 2011

Social Business: Im Kreuzfeuer zwischen überzogener Rendite und gescheitertem moralischen Anspruch

Lothar Lochmaier

Friedensnobelpreisträger Yunus, Gründer der Grameen Bank für Mikrokredite, der "Bank der Armen", wurde entlassen

Die Gerüchteküche kochte bereits seit längerem. Als "Bankier der Armen" wurde er mit dem Friedensnobelpreis geehrt, dann brachte Muhammad Yunus mit seinen politischen Ambitionen die Premierministerin gegen sich auf. Derartige Erklärungsansätze sind aber nur eine unter vielen denkbaren Versionen. Derweil wehrt sich der Geschasste mit allen rechtlichen und politischen Mitteln.

Bangladeschs Zentralbank entließ Muhammad Yunus als Direktor der von ihm gegründeten Grameen Bank für Mikrokredite, ließ etwa Nachrichtensender n-tv trocken unter der Überschrift Nobelpreisträger gefeuert verlauten. Ganz so einfach fällt die Bewertung dieses einmaligen Vorgangs freilich nicht, zumal der Entlassene aus verständlichen Gründen rechtlich dagegen vorgeht und auf Wiedereinstellung klagt. Fächern wir die Historie etwas genauer auf: Hinter dem schillernden Begriff "Social Business" gab es auch mit Blick auf das Leuchtturmprojekt Grameen Bank (deutsche Präsenz ) immer wieder persönliche Intrigen, bis hin zu einer politischen Korruption im Heimatland Bangladesh, die ihresgleichen sucht.


Muhammad Yunus. Bild: muhammadyunus.org

In Rede stehen daneben buchhalterische Unregelmäßigkeiten, deren Wahrheitsgehalt allerdings angesichts des Ausmaßes an politischer Einflussnahme im Heimatland zumindest angezweifelt werden darf. Machen wir die dortigen Umstände deshalb an einem konkreten Beispiel fest. Die Börse in Bangladesch hatte 2010 fulminante Kursgewinne verzeichnet. Die Kurse waren um über 80 Prozent gestiegen. Anfang Dezember vergangenen Jahres war der Leitindex plötzlich wieder um 27 Prozent gefallen. Was war passiert? Auslöser war laut Reuters oberflächlich betrachtet unter anderem die staatliche Maßnahme zur Abkühlung des Marktes, darunter eine Erhöhung der Eigenkapitalrücklagen von Banken. Daraufhin hatten mehrere Tausend wütender Investoren in Bangladesch randaliert, um gegen massive Kursverluste an der Börse zu protestieren.

Das Problem ist der extrem hohe Grad an Korruption. Bangladesch liegt auf den letzten Plätzen im Corruption Perceptions Index, der von Transparency International veröffentlicht wird. Graduelle Verbesserungen sind übrigens nicht erkennbar, beleuchten zahlreiche Reports, wie es etwa die OECD immer wieder bestätigt. Könnte deshalb sogar der Vorwurf zutreffen, dass im oben beschriebenen Börsenszenario in einem von reichlich Korruption durchzogenen Gemeinwesen betrügerische Händler und der Staat "gemeinsam Kasse gemacht haben"? Zumindest scheint diese Vermutung nicht ganz abwegig zu sein, weshalb die dort existenten Umstände den Vorgang der Entlassung von Muhammad Yunus in ein deutlich vielschichtigeres Flutlicht hüllen.

Phalanx der Befürworter formiert sich

Auch in einschlägigen Finanzkreisen wird der Vorgang um den entlassen Mikrokredit-Pionier intensiv diskutiert. So kommentiert der Geschäftsführer einer Investmentfirma auf Wallstreet online unter der Überschrift Warum trifft es immer die Guten?:

Der wahre Grund ist seine Kritik an der Regierung und konkret an Regierungschefin Sheikh Hasina Wajed. Auch wenn vieles dafür spricht, dass die Zentralbank und Regierung "mit Wucherzinsen für die Grameen Bank, das Blut der Armen aussagen will" so der Vorwurf von Yunus, wird so was in dieser bankenfreundlichen Welt nicht gern gehört. Und so wird ein erfolgreicher Konkurrent und eine Gefahr auch für wie westlichen Banken eiskalt erledigt.
Wallstreet online

Etwas anderes ist neben den vermutlich von politischer Geisterhand gelenkten Vorwürfen weit gravierender: Die verwässerten Richtlinien zwischen einem Social Business, das sich immer wieder an der Grenzlinie zwischen wundersamer Geldvermehrung und der profitlosen Nachhaltigkeit aufgerieben hat. Kurzum, Geld und Moral sind, salopp ausgedrückt, schwer unter einen Hut zu bekommen, und wenn ja, dann ist es ein permanenter Drahtseilakt für die Akteure. Bereits in einem früheren Beitrag ( Social Business/Social Entrepreneur) hat der Autor dieses Artikels den schmalen Grat skizziert, auf dem sich die Macher bewegen. Wie unternehmerisch kann und darf das Geschäft mit sozialen Werten sein? Mit dieser brennenden Frage dürfte sich auch das Who-is-Who der Szene auf dem diesjährigen Vision Summit im April in Potsdam intensiv auseinandersetzen.

Sicherlich bleibt die Grundidee von Social Business weiter bestehen, die da lautet, die sozialen Rahmenbedingungen von Armen in den Entwicklungsländern durch eine aktive Anschubfinanzierung weiter zu verbessern. Aber es sind vor allem die vielen Trittbrettfahrer, die den vermeintlich "guten" und seriösen Anbietern zunehmend das Leben erschweren. Von der buchstäblich "tödlichen" Abzocke mit Mikrokrediten ist beispielsweise in einer Reportage vom ARD-Weltspiegel die Rede.

Nicht wenige Kreditnehmer wissen schließlich keinen anderen Ausweg mehr als sich umzubringen, das sollte nicht bagatellisiert werden. Sie laufen skrupellosen Geschäftemachern in die Arme, die nur eines im Sinn haben, die Ohnmacht der Hilfesuchenden für sich auszunutzen.


Auf der Website der Grameen-Bank wird eine
glückliche Kreditnehmerin präsentiert:
Bild: Grameen

Andererseits verteidigen selbst die klassischen Investmentbanken den konzeptionell aus ihrer Sicht richtigen Ansatz von Social Business zur Armutsbekämpfung. Allen voran die Deutsche Bank, die Ende Januar etwa in einem Grundsatzpapier folgendes ausführt:

Aus unserer Sicht hat die Mikrofinanzierung immer zwei Komponenten – eine wirtschaftliche und eine gesellschaftliche. Wie bei einer DNA sind beide eng miteinander verknüpft", erklärt Asad Mahmood, Managing Director Global Social Investement Funds der Deutschen Bank in New York. "Wir betrachten Mikrofinanzierung und unsere anderen sozialen Investitionen weder als rein kommerzielles Geschäft noch als rein karitative Wohltätigkeit, sondern als innovative, hybride Produkte, die sowohl wirtschaftliche als auch soziale Aspekte miteinander verbinden.
Deutsche Bank

Wer das Papier bis zum Ende durchgelesen hat, wird allerdings im Kleingedruckten feststellen, dass gerade dort der Teufel sitzt. Denn zu einer Begrenzung der Kreditzinsen, vielleicht das wichtigste Druckmittel gegen allzu gierige Finanzhaie, konnte sich selbst die mit allerlei Verhaltensmaßregeln (Corporate Governance) ausgestattete Deutsche Bank nicht durchringen.

So bleibt das Bemühen um staatliche Kontrolle und Reglementierung von Auswüchsen, analog zur übrigen Finanzindustrie, auch hier ein kalter Tropfen auf den heißen Stein. Die Deutsche Bank begründet die Ablehnung einer Zinsbeschränkung mit einem oberflächlich plausiblen Argument:

Unter dem Strich betrachtet würde eine Zinsdeckelung dazu führen, dass viele Menschen keinen Zugang mehr zu Mikrokrediten bekommen und dann auf traditionelle Geldverleiher im informellen Sektor angewiesen sind, bei denen sie noch deutlich höhere Kosten haben.
Deutsche Bank

Ist der Widerspruch zwischen einem nicht kostendeckenden Satz und dem blankem Zinswucher wirklich nicht aufzulösen? In diesem Fall kann es wohl der freie Markt allein nicht richten, denn der ist ausgesprochen gefräßig und nimmt sich, soviel er kriegen kann.

Ganz so einfach wie das führende deutsche Geldinstitut kann man es sich also wohl kaum machen, um dieses sensible Metier allein dem Spiel der selbst regulierenden freien Märkte zu überlassen. Ein bloßer Verweis, die eigenen Mikrofinanzinstitutionen (MFI) durch interne Leitlinien auf "marktkonforme Zinsgestaltung" hin zu überprüfen, wie es bei der Deutschen Bank geschieht, dürfte jedenfalls deutlich zu kurz gesprungen sein.

Preisfrage: Wie kontrolliert man – wie hoch darf der Zins sein?

Allgemein verbindliche Verkehrsregeln gibt es auf jeder Verkehrsstraße. Und meist halten sich die Teilnehmer daran, spätestens dann, wenn sie hin und wider mal ein Bußgeld berappen. Wenn es keinen Sanktionsmechanismus für Kredithaie gäbe, dann werden mit den Schlechten gerade die seriösen Anbieter wie das Kind im Bade ausgeschüttet. Dann stirbt jedoch auch die denkbar bessere Lebensperspektive eines Menschen vor Ort, und möglicherweise wird sogar eine an sich gute Idee gleich mit ins Abseits befördert.

Was längerfristig erfolgversprechend wäre, sind folglich keine vagen, wie auch immer von oben verordneten Kontrollinstanzen. Letztlich müssten dezentrale Elemente vor Ort und parallel von außen – von unabhängigen Gutachtern initiiert – die Qualität der Mikrofinanzakteure fortlaufend unter die Lupe nehmen. Sie müssten sicherstellen, dass hier handwerklich sauber und solide gearbeitet wird, zum Vorteil beider Seiten. Denn auch die Kreditnehmer mogeln immer wieder, so analysiert die Frankfurter Rundschau den Vorgang.

Verlässliche Prüfinstanzen zu etablieren, das ist allerdings ein äußerst aufwändiger Prozess, das wissen auch die unseriösen Spieler. Für den prominentesten Vertreter von Social Business, die Grameen Bank, dürfte die Entlassung des weltweit angesehenen Sympathieträgers einen herben Einschnitt bedeuten. Das weltweit führende Mikrofinanzinstitut schickte sich immerhin gerade an, auf dem amerikanischen, aber auch auf dem europäischen Markt Fuß zu fassen. Andererseits könnte die Thematik jetzt auch stärker ins Bewusstsein der Öffentlichkeit rücken, so dass der allgemeine Regulierungsbedarf erkannt wird.

Ist am Ende für die Kehrseiten rund ums Social Business mit Yunus eine Art "Sündenbock" und Blitzableiter gesucht worden? Diese Frage wird nicht ganz leicht zu beantworten sein. Zum Abschluss dieses Beitrags bedienen wir uns deshalb eines Zitates, das auch in Finanzkreisen immer wieder gerne heran gezogen wird:

Nie haben die Massen nach Wahrheit gedürstet. Von den Tatsachen, die ihnen missfallen, wenden sie sich ab und ziehen es vor, den Irrtum zu vergöttern, wenn er sie zu verführen vermag. Wer sie zu täuschen versteht, wird leicht ihr Herr, wer sie aufzuklären sucht stets ihr Opfer.
Gustave Le Bon, Begründer der Massenpsychologie


Lothar Lochmaier arbeitet als Freier Fach- und Wirtschaftsjournalist in Berlin. Zu seinen Schwerpunkten gehören Umwelttechnik, Informationstechnologie und Managementthemen. Mit Kommunikationsabläufen und neuen Organisationsformen in der Bankenszene hat sich der Autor in zahlreichen Aufsätzen beschäftigt. Im Mai 2010 erschien von Lothar Lochmaier das Telepolis-Buch: Die Bank sind wir – Chancen und Zukunftsperspektiven von Social Banking. Er betreibt außerdem das Weblog Social Banking 2.0.

Copyright © Heise Zeitschriften Verlag

(Quelle: Telepolis.)

Siehe auch:

Kursiv: Mikrokredite in Misskredit
Mikrokredit in Misskredit

Indien: Die Schattenseite(n) der Mikrokredite

Montag, November 15th, 2010

“Image angekratzt

Mikrokredite: Selbstmorde von Darlehensnehmern in Indien bringen Erfolgsmodell in Verruf, das bislang als Alternative zu dubiosen Geldverleihern galt

Von Thomas Berger

Nationale und multinationale Banken in Indien wollen den in die Klemme geratenen Mikrokreditfirmen finanziell unter die Arme greifen. Das haben die State Bank of India, Standard Chartered und der US-Finanzkonzern Citi Group in der vergangenen Woche angekündigt. Damit wirft sich ein guter Teil des indischen Bankensystems in die Bresche, nachdem einige der Kreditgeber in den vergangenen Wochen vor allem im südöstlichen Bundesstaat Andhra Pradesh mit massiven Rückzahlungsausfällen zu kämpfen hatten. Nachdem staatliche Stellen und lokale Politiker den Firmen die Schuld an diversen Selbstmorden von Kreditnehmern gegeben hatten, war das sonst als so erfolgreich gepriesene System in die Negativschlagzeilen geraten. Das Geschäftsmodell stand plötzlich zur Disposition.

Als Mikrokredite werden in der Regel kleine und Kleinstdarlehen bezeichnet. Es handelt sich hierbei um Größenordnungen, die für normale Geschäftsbanken eher uninteressant sind. Sie werden vor allem im ländlichen Raum sowie in den Slums der Großstädte und Metropolen überwiegend an Frauen vergeben. Das Modell hat dabei im zurückliegenden Jahrzehnt von Südasien ausgehend einen Triumphzug rund um den Erdball angetreten, galt es doch als tauglich, den Allerärmsten eine eigenständige wirtschaftliche Existenz zu ermöglichen. Was zunächst in Bangladesch und Indien erfolgreich praktiziert wurde, findet sich heute in ähnlicher Weise auch in den Staaten Afrikas und Lateinamerikas. Der Vorteil liegt auf der Hand: Schon mit Darlehen in Höhe von umgerechnet 100 bis 300 Euro haben sich viele Frauen ein kleines Geschäft aufbauen oder sich Anschaffungen wie eine Nähmaschine etc. leisten können. Die Kreditvergabe galt für die Darlehensgeber als sicher hinsichtlich der Rückzahlungen und als ein wichtiges Mittel, Selbstbewußtsein und finanzielle Unabhängigkeit von Frauen zu stärken.

Der Erfolg ist beachtlich. Inzwischen hat sich auf dem indischen Subkontinent eine ganze Industrie in diesem Sektor entwickelt. Allein binnen der zurückliegenden drei Jahre hat sich das Finanzvolumen der Mikrokreditbranche verfünffacht, ist von weniger als 50 Milliarden Rupien 2007 auf aktuell fast 250 Milliarden (4,2 Milliarden Euro) angestiegen. Waren es seinerzeit rund 7,5 Millionen Kreditnehmer, sind es heute mehr als 26 Millionen. Etwa 30 Prozent der Darlehen entfallen allein auf Andhra Pradesh, und in der Regionalhauptstadt Hyderabad sitzen einige der größten Mikrokreditfirmen im internationalen Maßstab, darunter SKS Microfinance, Basix, Share Microfin und Sphoorty Financial. SKS hat kürzlich Aktien im Wert von umgerechnet 350 Millionen US-Dollar an die indische Börse gebracht.

Das enorme Wachstum der Branche hat allerdings auch mit zu den jetzt aufgetretenen Problemen beigetragen. Nicht mehr allein die Hilfe steht im Vordergrund, sondern ein immenser Wettbewerb um die Kreditkunden hat eingesetzt. Übliche Vorsichtsmaßregeln, wie sie bislang gerade bei den Mikrokrediten üblich waren, werden dabei über Bord geworfen, Regularien weiter als sonst ausgelegt. Dies ging soweit, daß in einigen bekannt gewordenen Fällen desselben Person gleich mehrere Darlehen gewährt wurden. Solche Praktiken führen notgedrungen dazu, daß die ansonsten fast makellose Rückzahlungsbilanz schnell getrübt wurde.

Was die 70 Selbstmorde Ende Oktober/Anfang November im Bundesstaat ausgelöst haben, muß erst noch geklärt werden. Bislang werden die Mikrokreditgeber verdächtigt. Sicher ist nur, daß sich die Opfer der Suizidwelle aufgrund extremer Finanzprobleme das Leben nahmen. Manche Hinterbliebenen haben bereits zu Protokoll gegeben, daß es im Falle ihrer Angehörigen nicht um diese geringen Summen ging, sondern um nebenher laufende Verpflichtungen gegenüber privaten Geldverleihern. Diese Kredithaie verlangen nicht selten mehr als 200 Prozent Zinsen, was die Darlehensnehmer schnell in eine Schuldenfalle treibt, aus der es kaum ein Entrinnen gibt. Aber gerade in diesem Zusammenhang galten gerade die Mikrokredite zu besseren Konditionen als Alternative. Inzwischen lassen sich auch einige der großen Firmen das Ausreichen des Geldes mit 25 bis 100 Prozent Verzinsung mehr als gut bezahlen. Das wird unabhängig von allen anderen Vorwürfen derzeit durchaus berechtigt kritisiert.

Ein erster Erfolg des öffentlichen Drucks besteht darin, daß jetzt über eine Kappung der Zinsobergrenze bei 24 Prozent nachgedacht wird. Die Verleiher sind bemüht, weiteren Schaden abzuwenden, und zeigen sich grundsätzlich zu Zugeständnissen und einer Überprüfung bisheriger Geschäftspraktiken bereit. Auch ein Sonderfonds, um in Not geratenen Kreditnehmern mit einer Umschuldung zu helfen, soll gegründet werden. Dabei wollen die bisher rivalisierenden Firmen erstmals zusammenarbeiten. Ob solche Ankündigungen ausreichen, das angekratzte Image wieder herzustellen, muß sich erst zeigen. Manche Frauengruppen werden womöglich auf Kreditgeber von außen verzichten und wieder zur Selbsthilfe zurückkehren, also Minidarlehen nur aus dem Aufkommen der eigenen Mitglieder ausreichen. Es dauert dann zwar länger, bis jede Interessentin ihr Geld erhalten kann, aber alles bleibt übersichtlich und eine pünktliche Rückzahlung in der Regel kein Problem.”

 

(Quelle: Tageszeitung junge Welt.)

 

Hinweis

Mikrofinanzen – Konkurrenz schafft keine Armut ab. Anmerkungen zu einer entwicklungspolitischen Strategie
Mikrokredite in Indien vor dem Kollaps

Demokratische Republik Kongo: Erste Schritte aus der Armut

Dienstag, Juni 22nd, 2010

“Seit 2008 unterstützt ▸PAIF, Partnerorganisation von medica mondiale, Überlebende sexualisierter Gewalt im Osten der Demokratischen Republik Kongo. PAIF steht ihnen mit medizinischer Hilfe zur Seite, mit Sozialarbeit und bei dem Aufbau einer wirtschaftlichen Existenz. In dieser Region gibt es immer wieder blutige Konflikte, sowohl Militär als auch Milizen vergewaltigen weiterhin Frauen und Mädchen – allein im vergangenen Jahr zählte die UN knapp 8.000 gemeldete Fälle, nur ein Bruchteil der tatsächlichen Vergewaltigungen.


Photo: medica mondiale

„Seit ich angefangen habe, mit Nähen mein Geld zu verdienen, habe ich meine Familie nicht mehr um Geld bitten müssen. Im Gegenteil: Ich kaufe jetzt Öl für sie. Und meine Kleidung und mein Essen kann ich jetzt selbst bezahlen.“ Die 27-jährige Faida, alleinerziehende Mutter von zwei Kindern, gehört zu den insgesamt 177 Absolventinnen eines achtmonatigen Nähkurses. Dieser Kurs ist Bestandteil eines Ausbildungs- und Starthilfen-Programms von PAIF.

Teilnehmerinnen des Programms nehmen zunächst an ebenfalls achtmonatigen Alphabetisierungskursen teil. Danach entscheiden sie sich für das Erlernen der Schneiderei, des Brotbackens oder der Saftproduktion oder aber ihre wirtschaftliche Eigenständigkeit wird mit Starthilfen gefördert: Sie bekommen Ziegen und Saatgut oder im Rahmen von Kleinstkrediten geringe Geldsummen zum Aufbau eines Geschäfts. Am Kleinstkredit-Programm nahmen bislang rund 180 Frauen teil; dazu haben sie sich zu insgesamt 17 Gruppen zusammengeschlossen. Rund 100 US-Dollar beträgt die Höchstsumme pro Kopf bei der ersten Förderung, die Rückzahlung erfolgt innerhalb weniger Monate.

Was gefördert wird, entscheidet PAIF mit jeder Frau individuell: Das kann der Aufbau eines Kiosk sein, der Grundstock für ein Kohle-Geschäft oder der Ersteinkauf für den Handel mit Second-Hand-Kleidung. Beim Aufbau ihres Geschäfts werden die Frauen von PAIF begleitet, ein „Business-Training“ gibt ihnen Grundlagen für die Berechnung von Einnahmen und Ausgaben. Ziel des Projekts: Die Frauen lernen mit Geld umzugehen, sie nehmen am öffentlichen Leben teil und sie gehören zu einer Gruppe, die sie stärkt. „Mit dem Startkapital ist alles anders geworden, denn Arbeit und Einkommen verändern alles“, so eine Teilnehmerin, “PAIF hat mir Zukunft geschenkt.“ ‘

(Quelle: medica mondiale.)