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Climate News & Report: Global Microfinance Consortium Alleviate Global Poverty Through Financial Market-based Solutions--Restoring Dignity to the Poor

In the brand new issue of "Climate News & Report" (Nov 12, 2005), Elizabeth Autumn reports on the progress of commitments made at the Clinton Global Initiative which took place last September 15-17. Large corporations and organizations continue working together to solve major world problems such as poverty, in a process that empowers the productive capacity of the world’s poor. Former President Bill Clinton commends Deutsche Bank for trumping its own very generous commitment.

New York, NY, November 15, 2005 --( In the latest issue of "Climate News & Report" (Nov 12, 2005), the article "Restoring Dignity to the Poor: Global Microfinance Consortium Alleviate Global Poverty Through Financial Market-based Solutions" is published.

Autumn reports on the progress of commitments made at the Clinton Global Initiative which took place last September 15-17.

Former President Bill Clinton spoke on Thursday, November 3rd launching the Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium – a $75 millions multi-tiered commercial fund committed to alleviating poverty. The Consortium is the fulfillment of a commitment made by Deutsche Bank at the Clinton Global Initiative last September (see participant list below).

This article is important because it demonstrates how diverse groups of investors from the private and public sectors have joined together to apply their business acumen, capital and development initiatives to alleviate global poverty through financial market-based solutions. MFIs make small loans to the poor for small businesses start ups to help raise them out of poverty.  

"This initiative shows the world that microfinance is an opportunity for both social and commercial investors to produce powerful returns for their clients," Eliza Mahony Erikson, investment officer for the Calvert Foundation said. 

The fight against global poverty is a moral imperative, fundamental to the values we hold dear. Success will depend on moving beyond a framework based on charity to a model that truly empowers the productive capacity of the world’s poor where they become our partners in every sense: suppliers of our goods, consumers of our products, conveyors of important local knowledge, investors in our projects, and champions of the democratic ideals we cherish. 

President Clinton said: "If we can get enough companies, like Deutsche Bank, involved in this, we can actually lift the whole structure of the economy in a lot of poorer countries and have a profound and lasting impact on national income in a way that will help the truly poor people more than anything else." 

When businesses include this moral dimension in its strategy, setting a gold bar, their competitors will naturally follow. It is also a model that holds development financing accountable for achieving these social returns. The sessions on global poverty at the Clinton Global Initiative focused on how best to marry policies and resources with the dynamism of poor communities and the creativity of the market. Celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Joli attended the event to lend their support. 

To view the full story: 

*** About the Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium

The Consortium is comprised of: Agence Française de Développement, AXA Group, Calvert Social Investment Foundation, CNP Assurances, Deutsche Bank, Geisse Foundation, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, Gray Ghost Fund, HP, Kaminer Foundation, Left Hand Foundation, Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), MMA, Munich Re, Rauenhorst Foundation, Standard Life, State Street Corporation, Storebrand, The Church Pension Fund, The Co-operative Bank plc, UK Department for International Development, and the US Agency for International Development. Deutsche Bank acted as lead arranger and managed the sale of the $75 million fund, utilizing the bank's industry-leading distribution to place the transaction globally. The fund, which introduces microfinance as a new asset class for investors, has a three-tranche debt and equity structure and will provide commercially structured financing for MFIs working throughout the developing world in providing credit to the self-employed poor, such as street vendors, traders, farmers and service providers. Nearly $30 million has already been committed to MFIs working in Peru, Kosovo, Nicaragua, Azerbaijan, Columbia, Pakistan, Mozambique and India.
About Elizabeth Autumn, MBA
Autumn is a freelance reporter and publishes Climate News & Report. She covers environment and corporate governance issues. Completing her Masters in Environmental Management at Harvard University, Autumn also writes for Crane’s Magazine, Create Magazine, and Publishers Weekly. Previously a freelance producer for Fox News she also worked for CBS News and the Emmy-Award winning CBS Documentary "9-11.”
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