United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

22 October 1998


                                                     Original: English
General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Agenda item 98
Implementation of the first United Nations Decade 
  for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006)

              Role of microcredit in the eradication of poverty

                      Report of the Secretary-General


      III.     International support to microcredit lending

        C.     Specialized agencies of the United Nations

        4.     United Nations Educational, Scientific and
               Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

1.   The United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) cooperates with
microfinance institutions and other partners in designing
and implementing complementary programmes aimed at
helping the poor, especially women, to benefit from
financial as well as social services. This involves support
for the campaign to enable the maximum number of poor
people, especially women, to have access to commercially
viable microfinance services, through the dissemination of
information to Governments on successful microfinance
programmes; coordination of the participation of officials
and staff of non-governmental organizations in workshops
and training programmes; devising of mechanisms to
provide appropriate complementary services in the fields
of education, science and technology, culture and
communication to beneficiaries of microfinance
programmes; and promotion of micro-enterprise through
innovative approaches such as the "Fashion for
development" project, which was developed in cooperation
with the Grameen Bank and has been extended to many

2.   Under the memorandum of understanding signed with
the Grameen Bank, UNESCO will assist in providing
education to more than 500 families in 22 training centres
in Bangladesh. It will also seek to inform policy makers
about the potential of microfinance in poverty eradication
programmes, and to create awareness, among key
government officials and banking sector managers, of the
fact that microfinance requires specific lending
methodologies, and administrative structures that are
different from those employed in traditional development



This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org