International Development written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of Annette Brooke Annette Brooke Shadow Spokesperson (Children, Schools and Families), Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is giving to microfinance initiatives in developing countries.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for International Development

Since April 2003, the Department for International Development (DFID) has spent over £186 million on microfinance and financial sector projects.

DFID supports broader financial sector development programmes to improve access to finance for poor people, where microfinance is just one component. These programmes aim to encourage the entry of financial institutions into the microfinance sector and assist governments to improve the regulatory environment for financial institutions to serve the poor.

DFID continues to invest in new programmes to support microfinance and improve access to finance. This includes a £9.3 million, five year financial sector development programme in Nigeria and a £32.8 million, seven year programme in Bangladesh.

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