Many of the 1.29 billion people in the developing world who live on less than $1.25 a day are one illness away from losing everything. The relationship between ill health and poverty is inextricable, and for microfinance clients, sickness is often the main reason for failure to repay loans and the collapse of promising businesses. The Microcredit Summit Campaign has identified that one of the most effective methods of mitigating the risk of health challenges to both clients and microfinance institutions is to integrate microfinance and health protection services.
The Campaign began its work on integrating microfinance and health in 2002 with the aim of globally expanding a proven and innovative self-sustaining model of integration through the creation of a worldwide network of trainers. Since the mid-2000s, the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger have collaborated to promote the integration of microfinance and health protection services.
This collaboration brings together a diverse set of influential actors from the microfinance, health, public, and private sectors. We have partnered with financial service providers to increase their capacity to integrate health education and other health services into their operations through trainings in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The Campaign and Freedom from Hunger collaborate to support, document, and foster best practice, monitoring and evaluation, and innovation in the field in microfinance and health protection.
Building on this collaboration and with support from Johnson & Johnson, in 2011, the two organizations formed a Health and Microfinance Alliance to leverage their technical expertise and communications platforms for the specific purpose of building support for and expanding the practice of integrating microfinance and health. (Read the press release here.)