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Microfinance, Poverty Reduction and Millennium Development Goals

Microfinance has ushered in a new understanding of the needs of the poor and the potential for financial services to enable the poor to escape from poverty. Current literature argues over the way how microfinance has enabled users to climb above the poverty line.

This report explores how microfinance could boost current efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The relationships between specific Goal and microfinance are explored, together with the potential for mutual benefits between both. Why this potential has not been a higher priority for the microfinance sector is also considered.

This report argues that substantial synergies are yet to be realized between microfinance and Goals, based on careful, well- targeted approaches that are not only pro-poor, but also focus on the unique situation of the chronic poor.