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News Syria: Microfinance to combat drought

Farmers and herders are being targeted with microfinance in an effort to relieve drought-related poverty in Syria. Widely used across the developing world since the 1970s, Syria has relatively few providers.

"Microfinance can be an important tool for relieving poverty and improving livelihoods both by directly raising income and indirectly increasing the sense of empowerment or ability to access education," said Mohammed Khaled, Middle East and North Africa representative of the Washington DC-based Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

Over 1.3 million people have been affected by the drought which started in 2006, according to the UN. Last month UN Special Rapporteur Oliver de Schutter said 2-3 million people had been pushed into extreme poverty [ http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=90442 ] in Syria, with many thousands having left the northeast region for the cities, with no source of income.

Microfinance initiatives are targeting both those who have moved to the cities and those who have remained in the area.

In drought-prone areas the Aga Khan Foundation is working with its subsidiary, the First Microfinance Institution (FMFI). FMFI provides 25 percent of its loans, which range from SYP 3,000-150,000 (US$65-3,247), to the agricultural sector. Much of the microfinance is targeted at measures to combat drought.

Contact information © IRIN. All rights reserved.
News type Inbrief
File link Http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=90677
Source of information © IRIN. All rights reserved.
Keyword(s) drought
Subject(s) FINANCE-ECONOMY , HYDRAULICS - HYDROLOGY , NATURAL MEDIUM , POLICY-WATER POLICY AND WATER MANAGEMENT , RISKS AND CLIMATOLOGY , WATER DEMAND
Relation http://www.semide.org/countries/fol749974/sy
Geographical coverage Syria,
News date 21/10/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH
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