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Microcredit Summit Delegates Endorse Declaration Calling for the Independence of Grameen Bank

Manila, Philippines (October 11, 2013) – On day 3 of the summit, the 800 delegates at the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty (http://partnershipsagainstpoverty.org/) , hosted by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc., endorsed a declaration calling for the independence of the acclaimed microfinance institution Grameen Bank and the continued enfranchisement of the women who make up the Bank's millions of clients and owners.

The Summit's 800 delegates represent multiple microfinance institutions in 70 countries around the world.  

Founded by Nobel Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank has lent over $12.5 billion to poor, rural women in Bangladesh, allowing millions of families the opportunity to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. With nearly 8.4 million members, 97 percent of whom are women and who make up nine of 13 members of Board of Directors, Grameen Bank is a model that has been replicated in nearly every country around the world.

Despite this history, the government of Bangladesh has threatened to take control of Grameen Bank since 2010. In response to these takeover attempts, Microcredit Summit Campaign director Larry Reed told the delegates, “This move would undermine Grameen Bank’s longtime success, disenfranchise the women who own a majority of the shares and by virtue of that a majority of its board seats, and the independence of civil society throughout the country and microfinance institutions around the world.”

The Summit's declaration calls for the repeal of recent amendments to the Grameen Bank Ordinance and urges the government of Bangladesh to allow the women borrowers to retain control of the Bank and process of electing the Board of Directors.

Mila Mercado-Bunker, President of the Board of Trustees of the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, welcomed the declaration, stating, “The attempts to take over Grameen Bank are a threat to all microfinance institutions. It is our responsibility to stand in solidarity with the Grameen and its women borrowers. By adopting this declaration, the 2013 Microcredit Summit delegates have made a powerful statement about our collective support for Grameen Bank's independence and our continued vigilance of the situation.”

Read the full declaration on our Blog (here): http://100millionideas.org/2013/10/15/a-declaration-in-support-of-the-independence-of-grameen-bank-2/

For more information on the 2013 Summit, visit: http://partnershipsagainstpoverty.org/

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The Microcredit Summit Campaign (the “Campaign”), a project of RESULTS Educational Fund, is the largest global network of institutions and individuals involved in microfinance and is committed to two important goals: 1) reaching 175 million of the world’s poorest families with microfinance and 2) helping 100 million families lift themselves out of severe poverty. The Campaign convenes a broad array of actors involved with microfinance to promote best practices in the field, to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and to work towards alleviating world poverty through microfinance.

In partnership with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), the Campaign is organizing the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit October 9 – 11, 2013, in the Philippines.

http://www.microcreditsummit.org/

The Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI) is the national network of microfinance institutions working towards sustainable, innovative and client-responsive solutions to poverty in the country. The key programs of MCPI include advocacy, social performance management and consumer protection in microfinance, capacity building for microfinance institutions, performance monitoring and bench marking, and the establishment of a knowledge and research center for microfinance.

http://www.microfinancecouncil.org/

 


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