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Resource Library / State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2004

“Our purpose as an assembly is to launch a global campaign to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the year 2005. We commit to the development of sustainable institutions, which assist very poor women and their families to work their way out of poverty with dignity.” -Microcredit Summit Declaration of Support 1997

These words were endorsed by thousands of delegates at the 1997 Microcredit Summit. Nearly eight years later the Microcredit Summit Campaign remains on track to attain its goal of reaching 100 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the end of 2005. This progress offers much needed hope for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the lead goal of cutting absolute poverty in half by 2015.

As of December 31, 2003, 2,931 microcredit institutions have reported reaching 80,868,343 clients, 54,785,433 of whom were among the poorest when they took their first loan. Of these poorest clients, 82.5 percent, or 45.2 million, are women. Seven hundred seventy-nine of these institutions submitted a 2004 Institutional Action Plan outlining their progress. Together these 779 institutions accounted for 90 percent of the poorest clients reported. Assuming five persons per family, the 54.8 million poorest clients reached by the end of 2003 affected some 274 million family members.

In order to reach 100 million poorest families by 2005, the Campaign requires a 38 percent growth rate per year from its starting point of 7.6 million poorest families at the end of 1997. The Campaign’s overall growth of 621 percent between 1997 and 2003 now averages just under 39 percent per year.

This year, the Campaign was able to verify data from 286 institutions, representing 47,458,191 poorest families or 87 percent of the total poorest reported. A complete appendix of the institutions verified this year can be found on our website.

These 54.8 million poorest clients and 274 million family members are equal to the combined populations of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Sweden, but their lives are very different from the citizens of those countries.

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