Does Microfinance Reduce Poverty – Or Not?
Roughly 3 billion people in the world live below the poverty line — on less than $2 a day. Microfinance has been portrayed as a “bottom-up economic solution” using policy and program intervention mechanisms. It is estimated that as of 2009 over 190 million individuals had taken a microloan with over 3,000 institutions supporting microfinance globally.
But we have differing voices within the microfinance community. Some experts are beginning to question the efficacy of microfinance in fighting poverty. Still others question the impact of microfinance on overall economic development and whether it can enable simple, low-income economies to grow into modern high-income economies.
And, the debate goes on.