To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to help achieve the targets of the Microcredit Summit Campaign to ensure that 175 million of the world's poorest families, especially women, are receiving credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the end of 2015.
DFID regards microcredit as part of a broader strategy to promote financial sectors that are stronger and more inclusive of the needs of poor people, including women. The UK's 2006 White Paper on International Development commits us to tackle the barriers that prevent poor people from gaining access to markets and financial services, and supporting microfinance initiatives, particularly in partnership with banks and regulators.
DFID currently supports 58 financial sector initiatives, which include microcredit and business development services, in 25 countries. By May 2007, DFID had contributed approximately £180 million to financial sector programmes. A further £140 million has already been committed to support existing programmes in future years.