27 Jul 2011

Sustainability of microfinancing key element of Pacific conference says IFC

11:19 am on 27 July 2011

A conference on microfinancing this week in Vanuatu aims to show how it can be put on an economically sustainable footing.

The Pacific Microfinance Week is sponsored by the World Bank's commercial arm, the International Finance Corporation.

The IFC's Deva de Silva says while microfinancing has been available in the Pacific for a while it has not reached rural areas adequately.

He puts this down partly to many of the schemes being run by NGO's which don't operate on a commercially sustainable basis.

Mr de Silva says the IFC hopes to turn this around.

"More importantly commercially sustainable microfinance where they do not have to depend on aid and support forever, but develop the capacity, products and internal skills to run the institution in a commercially sustainable manner and access formal funding lines to fund their operations [rather] than depend on the traditional donor funded aid."