Bangladesh: The Dark Side of Microcredit

November 30, 2009

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Women in Bangladesh receiving microcredit loans.
The idea of extending loans to the poorest of the poor generally started in Bangladesh in the mid 70s with a research project by economist Mohammad Yunus. His Grameen bank defied conventional wisdom that the poor couldn't handle debt, by showing repayment rates in the high 90%. To date, Grameen bank has loaned money to 50 million people. It has helped lift half of them out of poverty. The success of Grameen spawned a wave of microcredit institutions around the world in both developing and developed countries. 2005 was declared the “Year of Microcredit” by the UN. Yunus and Grameen won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Kasia Paprocki is Research and Program Manager for the Goldin Institute. Kasia is also Research Director on the Goldin Institute's Improving Microcredit: Listening to Recipients project. The Goldin Institute produced a report from their work in Bangladesh entitled Improving Microcredit Programs: Listening To Recipients.

Khushi Kabir is Director of Nijera Kori. It means "we do it ourselves" in Bengali. They work with the Landless people and have more than 275,000 members.