‘Lend to End Poverty’ Campaign Calls On World Economic Forum to Prioritize Microfinance
Over 20,000 Sign Petition in Advance of Davos Meeting
Boston, MA, January 28, 2009 - ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in microfinance, today formally announced that its ‘Lend to End Poverty’ campaign and petition, calling on economic leaders to promote and prioritize microfinance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2009, crossed the 20,000 signature mark in advance of the WEF opening today in Davos, Switzerland.
Launched online earlier this month and available at www.lendtoendpoverty.org, the petition has secured 20,132 signatories, who have called on the leaders of the WEF to highlight, during the meeting, three key initiatives for building inclusive financial systems.
Microfinance has proven itself as a powerful tool in addressing global poverty, helping poor entrepreneurs break the cycle of poverty by providing them with financial tools such as credit, savings and insurance. Yet today it reaches only 10 to 20 percent of the estimated 500 million poor who could benefit from these opportunities. The campaign seeks to help address this imbalance by urging the WEF’s co-chairs to promote microfinance to the influential attendees at Davos.
The petition specifically asks the leaders of the WEF to highlight the need for building microfinance programs in underserved markets; for broadening the range of financial services available to the poor; and for ensuring that low-income entrepreneurs are protected through such best practices as quality services, transparency and appropriate pricing.
“Despite the awareness and expansion of microfinance in recent years, and its proven effectiveness in alleviating poverty, we must continue to work harder and faster, to do more,” said María Otero, president and CEO of ACCION. “We cannot let the global economic crisis divert attention from the drive to reduce global poverty. We set out three weeks ago to engage 10,000 new supporters in our mission. That more than 20,000 have signed on inspires, humbles and motivates us. We thank them deeply for their support.”
The Lend to End Poverty petition is available for viewing and signing at www.lendtoendpoverty.org.
About the World Economic ForumThe World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (www.weforum.org).
About ACCIONACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need – microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services – to work their way out of poverty. A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. ACCION International’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 25 countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States. In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 22.4 million loans totaling $17.4 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid. Selected for the fifth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 45 organizations awarded the 2008 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company Magazine/Monitor Group. ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating – four stars – for efficiency and sound fiscal management, for the second consecutive year. For more information, visit www.accion.org.
ACCION® is a registered trademark of ACCION International.
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