Sustainable Livelihoods through
                               Microcredit for the Poorest
Grameen Bank Replication Project


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The end of August marked the completion of one year of operation of the Grameen Bank replication project in Myanmar. A cumulative amount of US$ 129,809 has been disbursed as small loans to 5915 members, all of whom are poor women.  A total of 1389 groups have been confirmed in 201 centers; an additional  82 groups are under training. 

Grameen Trust launched the Grameen Bank Replication Project in Myanmar with financial support from UNOPS, Asia Office, Kuala Lumpur in the Delta Zone of Myanmar. At the end of the period, the project is expected to reach 13,335 poor households. 

 Country Report 
Sustainable Livelihoods in Myanmar 

Myanmar Case Study 

Scaling-up in Sichuan 

Expansion in USA  

The project represents an alternative approach to international replication of the Grameen approach. The absence of known NGOs or other institutions that are involved in microcredit for the poor in  Myanmar  provided a basis for Grameen Trust to become involved in direct implementation .

 The project now employs 48 staff, six staff with strong field experience having been seconded from Grameen Bank  Bangladesh, to run the operations of the projects. The activities of five branches of the microcredit program are coordinated by a zonal manager, who is also the chief executive of the project. The remaining 42 field staff have been recruited  and trained locally. 

The average size of loans taken by borrowers in the first cycle is around US$ 25. This has ensured that the poorest are participating in the program. It is hoped that borrowers� capacity to take progressively larger loans will enable the project to attain viability. In addition to loan activities, borrowers deposit weekly savings. To date they e have mobilized more than US$ 2500. 

The activities for which loans have been used range from  poultry and pig raising, selling prawns, vegetables and snacks, purchasing fishing nets, duck food, rowing boats, sewing machines and for grocery shops. The staff report that loans are  utilized properly and the rate of repayment to date has held up at 100 percent. 

One problem faced by the project is that staff have to travel by boat to center meetings which is both time consuming and difficult. Some temporary absences from center meetings have been caused due to seasonal fever and seasonal migration when  women become busy with paddy transplantation. The staff were anticipating  the effects on the program of heavy rain during the rainy season in July and August, but so far there has been only moderate rainfall. 

All measures are being taken to ensure that high quality of management and operational practices are maintained. The project staff are confident that the target  of poor families will be reached to make a significant impact on the conditions of the poor in the Delta Zone of Myanmar. It is hoped that the success of this project will lead to an expansion of microcredit for the poor in Myanmar.