Experience of CASHPOR in Asia
ago, Professor David Gibbons along with his close associate Professor
Sukor Kassim, from the University Sains Malaysia in Penang, launched
Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, the first known replication of Grameen
Bank's micro-credit approach towards alleviation of poverty. It
proved to be highly successful in Malaysia, a high middle income
country. Today Amanah is one of the largest replication of Grameen
outside Bangladesh. Since, then David and his regional network known
as CASHPOR have moved on to a number of other important replication
projects in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nepal, India and
last but not the least, in the People's Republic of China. David
sums up his valuable experience with replication in Asia and the
Pacific, of what he calls, the Essential Grameen.
we have been at it for the last fifteen years! What important things
can be said based on this experience that spans over a decade and
a half, in different countries an Asia and the Pacific?
GB approach to reduction of poverty through the provision of
financial services to poor women can be effective any where
poverty-reduction is being done in a financially sustainable
||Nearly all CASHPOR GBRs could increase dramatically their outreach to the poor and the poorest, if they could get access to the necessary financial resources.:
So the vital
question right now is how the GBRs can access the huge amounts of
funds necessary to realize their capacity, in order to reach millions
of poor households throughout Asia with required financial services,
for reduction of poverty?
micro finance funds, like PKSF in Bangladesh, PCFC in the Philippines
and MCDF in Nepal, are an important part of the answer, especially
for the smaller GBRs to scale up to the numbers of clients at which
they can enjoy large economies of scale. But most of the US$21 billion
that is estimated by the Microcredit Summit Campaign to be required
to provide financial services to 100 million poor women throughout
the world, will have to come from commercial money markets, the
only source large enough to meet the huge finding requirements.
To access large amounts of funds from the commercial money markets,
GBRs will have to establish formal, professionally competent financial
institutions that are profitable. Governments will have to make
this both possible and safe by providing an innovative, regulated
legal status suitable for micro finance institutions working with
the poor and banks will have to be attracted commercially, to supply
the requisite funds.
The great potential
of GB type micro finance for widespread reduction of poverty in
Asia, in a financially sustainable manner, has been demonstrated
clearly. But much work remains to be done by Grameen replicators,
governments and banks for the full potential to be realized.
The author is
the Executive Trustee of CASHPOR Inc.