Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Microcredit

Koenraad Van Brabant in conversation with Hakim N. Feerasta, Resident Representative, the Aga Khan Development Network, Tajikistan Koenraad Van Brabant The Aga Khan is recognised as the spiritual head (imam) of the Ismaeli community, and the majority of Ismaelis in Tajikistan live in the eastern region of Gorno-Badakshan. Are you working specifically with the Ismaelis? Hakim N. Feerasta Well, there are an estimated 25m Ismaelis all over the world. Tajikistan is one of the countries where Ismaelis live. But the Aga Khan Development Network is a secular organisation; it does not work only for the Ismaeli community. We operate within…
Mercy Corps has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1994, focusing on micro-entrepreneurship, food security, small-holder farming and livestock development and conflict mitigation. Established in 2004 through the consolidation of five Mercy Corps-affiliated micro-credit agencies, Kompanion, a community development financial institution specialising in group lending, now employs over 1,000 staff, has 94 offices and is Kyrgyzstan’s largest micro-finance institution, per number of customers. In June 2010, conflict erupted in Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces of southern Kyrgyzstan. Thousands of households lost family members, homes and possessions, as well as business assets. When the conflict broke out, over 45,000 of Kompanion’s 109,900 clients…
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Iraq created a ‘Women and War’ advisor position in 2008, responsible for assessing and integrating women’s needs into ICRC programmes. Although no confirmed figures exist, there are estimates of over a million women-headed households (WHHs) in Iraq. Despite limitations on access imposed by insecurity, it was possible to meet Iraqi women from all walks of life in Jordan and in more secure areas in Iraq, to discuss the problems affecting them. Based on these initial consultations and working with contacts provided by local NGOs, the ICRC organised a field survey…
Promoting development in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of an ongoing conflict that affects every aspect of Palestinian social and economic life. The prolonged political crisis has contributed to the destruction of the social fabric and has worsened the economic prospects of all Palestinians, plunging many into ever-deeper poverty. The 1948 war, the regional wars of 1967 and 1973, the 1987 and 2000 uprisings and the 2008–2009 Israeli incursion into Gaza have caused repeated displacement and turned many into long-term refugees. In recent years, the territory has been fragmented following the internal Palestinian…
At Kobe in Japan in January 2005, the worldwide humanitarian system and partners gathered to collect their insights, views and experience to shape and launch the historic Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), a global strategy to reduce disaster risks. Like many others, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) had been demanding such a framework since the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) was concluded in 1998 in Geneva. The global event in Kobe was unique: it augmented our insights and ideas, gave them a global appeal, arranged them into doable actions and established a global mandate for disaster…
Urban refugees have long existed in the Nairobi area, and international aid agencies have long been aware of them. Today, there are an estimated 40,000–100,000 in the city. Yet despite this significant presence, international aid agencies have only recently begun to address the needs of urban refugees. Why have urban refugees been ignored for so long, and why are their needs being recognised now? The often-cited ‘invisibility factor’ may have made it easier to ignore them. Like self-settled refugees elsewhere, those in Nairobi are living and working among the host community. They are geographically dispersed across the city, and many…
The tsunami of 2004 struck Aceh in Indonesia with particular force. Some 130,000 people were reported dead and 37,000 missing, and over half a million lost their homes. Economic losses across Indonesia have been put at nearly $5 billion. In response, the Indonesian government estimates that some $7 billion in international aid was committed to Aceh and the island of Nias, off Sumatra’s eastern coast. If this sum were divided by the number of victims who lost their homes and property, each affected person in Aceh would get about $14,000. With this money, you can build a very good family…
The tsunami response has allowed international humanitarian agencies to test and develop new approaches to disaster recovery. One such approach is the use of cash in place of traditional commodity transfers. Projects include government cash transfers to households in Aceh, Indonesia; a World Food Programme (WFP) cash transfer pilot programme in Sri Lanka; a cash and voucher pilot in Aceh, run by CARE; cash for work projects in Aceh, Sri Lanka and India; and cash grants for livelihood recovery in Aceh and Sri Lanka. There are also some examples of cash grant/loan ‘hybrid’ programmes. As part of its Cash Learning…
In recent years, there have been several studies of micro-finance in post-conflict situations. However, very little attention has been paid to micro-finance (or micro-credit) in refugee camps. This article describes a micro-enterprise programme in refugee camps in Guinea, implemented by the American Refugee Committee (ARC). It is based on an evaluation of the programme carried out in April 2004, which focused on two camps, Laine and Kola, located in Guinea’s Nzérèkoré region. As part of the evaluation, a survey was conducted among 120 beneficiaries of the programme, and among a control group of 80 non-beneficiaries. Laine camp was established in…
The reported global cost of ‘natural’ disasters rose 15-fold between the 1950s and the 1990s. During the 1990s, major catastrophes resulted in reported economic losses averaging an estimated $66 billion per year (in 2002 prices). Record losses of some $178bn were recorded in 1995, the year of the Kobe earthquake in Japan – equivalent to 0.7% of global GDP. Numbers of people affected have also risen sharply, with a three-fold increase between the 1970s and 1990. These alarming increases have triggered growing awareness of the potential human, structural and economic threats natural hazards pose. However, there is only a limited…
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