Country Reoport
Microcredit Outreach in Egypt Remains Low

A microcredit borrower at her stall in Alexandria

The Commercial International Bank (CIB), the largest private sector bank in Egypt, invited Grameen Trust to conduct a Fact Finding Mission in the country from June 2 to 9, 2008, to set up a Grameen program there. Besides meeting with those concerned with the microfinance sector in the country, the mission also visited poverty pockets in Tanta and Alexandria. Despite a sophisticated microfinance industry, microcredit outreach to the poorest in Egypt remains very low.

Grameen Trust MFI Rehabilitation Program
Raises Repayment Rate at SARS

South Asia Research Society (SARS), India, has been operating its microfinance program through 13 branches since 1993. However, the microcredit program did not achieve results as expected. At the invitation of SARS, Grameen Trust developed a special rehabilitation program. GT extended its support to SARS and deputed an experienced and efficient Grameen resource person who would be in charge of one branch of SARS and work with full freedom to develop the branch as a model branch where staff from other branches will be trained. Based on its most dire condition the Hasnabad branch was selected for rehabilitation to a model branch of SARS.

A borrower bought a tractor with SME loan

The challenges facing the Hasnabad branch were caused by the dropout of experienced staff and managers, low staff morale, high member dropout, inadequate monitoring and supervision, break down of the credit discipline, cash-flow crisis, as well as other causes hampering the field activities.

The GT resource person implemented various measures to mitigate the challenges. Setting up new centers, introduction of GGS, new loan and savings products attracted new members to the program, as well as brought back those who had dropped out. Measures were taken to collect loans that were in default. Credit discipline was reestablished. Overdue loans decreased from INRs 3,363,000 in 2004 to only INRs 297,350 at the end of 2007. The success of the branch has also raised staff morale and productivity. As a result of the GT Rehabilitation Program the repayment rate at Hasnabad branch has improved from a dismal 18% in 2004, to 80% at the end of 2007.

Costa Rica
ACRG Adds 3,000
New Members

Asociación Costa Rica Grameen (ACRG) is a GT Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project in Costa Rica. It was set up in 2005 with the support from the Whole Planet Foundation.

Borrowers in Costa Rica

The project added over 3,000 new members in 2007, bringing the total to 5,425. The project has disbursed US$1.56 million in microloans. The project enjoys 100% repayment rate