Microcredit is the most visible innovation in anti-poverty policy in the last half-century, and in three decades it has grown dramatically. Now with almost 130 million borrowers, microcredit has undoubtedly been successful in bringing formal financial services to the poor. Many believe it has done much more, and that by putting money into the hands of poor families (and often women) it has the potential to increase investments in health and education and empower women.
With the help of low-interest micro-credit loans, many poor Moroccans, including mostly women from rural areas, have been able to escape poverty and start their own businesses. Those who live on less than 2 dollars a day represent 19% of the population in the dispersed rural areas of Morocco.
Overall statistics in the micro-credit sector show that more than 20 billion dirhams ($2.26 billion) have been distributed thus far, 13 billion dirhams, ($1.48 billion) of which is invested by women in productive projects, especially in poor rural areas. The micro-credit sector has been developing at fast pace since the 1990`s and it is now an essential instrument in the struggle against exclusion and poverty in Morocco.
This story is part of Microcredit.
Text sources: African Development Bank, MSSF/MC, Linda Zahava, Financial Access Initiative, IPA-innovations for poverty action.