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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Microfinance helps mitigate crisis situations - Beris Gwynne

Daily News: 15/06/2005"

An international conference to discuss strategies to build awareness on the importance of micro finance in emergency relief and development responses to crisis situations and strengthen capacity in communities commenced last Monday.

The Pan Asia Forum on 'Micro Finance in crisis situation' was held with the participation of government, private sector and international representatives at the HNB Towers.

Executive Director of the Foundation for Development Cooperation(FDC) Beris Gwynne said once emergency needs have been met microfinance is an essential to help rebuilding their lives and their living conditions. By reducing vulnerability microfinance can help prevent or mitigate the effects of crisis situations restoring hope and dignity to traumatised communities.

The Program Manager of FDC Stuart Mathison said that microfinance needs policy strategies and products to help reduce vulnerability of their clients. Microfinance should be smart to maximise their impact on rebuilding and recovery process in a natural disaster or conflict situation. One of the objectives of organising this forum is to identify capacity building needs and to design a regional capacity building program, he said.

Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka W.A Wijewardena said crisis may occur due to various reasons. Some may think micro entrepreneurs will not survive after a crisis and this is a misconception. It is important to find solutions in recovery and rebuilding micro entrepreneurs after crisis situations and enhance their businesses he said.

The forum will continue till today and will discuss important issues such as microfinance impacted by natural disasters, micro entrepreneurs in North East areas and microfinance and crisis. (AS)

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