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Resource Library / Empowering Women Through Integration of Microfinance and Health Education

Christopher Dunford
April Allen Watson
Anna Awimbo

This update of an earlier edition again focuses on the power of integrating microfinance services with health education. It highlights efforts by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and UNFPA using a methodology developed by Freedom from Hunger. Included is analysis from innovative work in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Of special note are the results from a pilot project in India that shows how local capacity can effectively be built to accelerate the large-scale global adoption of integration. The document provides evidence of the impact of microfinance projects. It also serves as a call to action for development agencies, governments, microfinance institutions and donors to invest in this strategy that holds the promise changing social norms and of making many of the MDG targets achievable.The final section offers eight concrete recommendations for action to realize the potential of the “combined services” approach of integrating microfinance services with health education. All eight actions rely on the development agencies, governments, micro-finance institutions and donors to promote integrated health education and microfinance as a means to meeting the MDGs.

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