Already in its 15th year, CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) is playing an important role in reducing poverty through advancing financial access for the world’s poor. An independent policy and research center, CGAP is a world-recognized authority in microfinance. Its Microfinance Gateway is a vast online resource for the global microfinance community. The website defines what microfinance and microcredit are exactly, and offers a wealth of updated information, research and news on the movement, which includes access for the poor to such financial services as credit, savings, insurance and fund transfers. The Gateway affirms, as one example, that Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) loaned the equivalent of about US$ 12.2 billion in microcredit to Chinese farmers in the first three months of 2010, compared with US$ 10 billion during all of 2009. According to ABC official Lu Chuan, the bank’s microfinance venture has helped 15 million farmers in China since it started in April 2008, offering loans of approximately US$ 440-7,300.
CGAP has successfully developed as a platform for peer pressure towards improved microfinance effectiveness and is recognized for truly decreasing poverty through improving poor people’s access to financial services. More on CGAP’s assistance to the poor can be found at http://www.cgap.org/p/site/c/