United Nations - Canadian Committee for Year of Microcredit

September 22, 2005 13:00 ET

First Canadian on-line gateway to microfinance launches today

www.microfinance.ca celebrates International Year of Microcredit Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ON & GATINEAU, PQ--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 22, 2005) - The first Canadian on-line gateway to microfinance (www.microfinance.ca ) launched today. The bilingual website is intended for those who wish to learn more about Canadian organizations and individuals involved in microfinance as a way to help reduce poverty in Canada and around the world. The site features action items, event information, bibliographies, stories, case studies, and numerous photos.

This gateway is launched in the context of the United Nations International Year of Microcredit (IYM), which aims at raising awareness about the need to develop financial and banking services for millions of underserved people around the world and at promoting microfinance's contribution to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

The site is the work of the Canadian Steering Committee for the IYM, which is made up of over a dozen members from civil society, the private sector and government. Its membership includes some of Canada's largest financial institutions, non-profit agencies, microfinance practitioners and the Canadian International Development Agency. The Committee spearheads Canada's efforts during the IYM. By launching this gateway, it wishes to increase public awareness and understanding of microfinance and its impact on reducing poverty.

"Access to financial services, such as microcredit, savings and microinsurance, enables poor and low-income people to increase revenue, invest in microenterprise, build assets and mitigate their vulnerability in times of hardship. We are working together to help raise awareness about the need to support microfinance in Canada and around the world," says Stéphanie Émond, a member of the committee.

The Canadian Steering Committee is also inviting Canadians to celebrate National Microfinance Day on October 20, 2005, by taking part in the events organized to highlight the day, by learning more about the sector and informing others in their community.

The Canadian gateway for the UN International Year of Microcredit will be active at least until November 2006, when Canada will host the Global Microcredit Summit from November 12-15, when over 2,000 delegates from more than 100 countries will gather in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to assess progress toward the Summit's goal of reaching 100 millions of the poorest people and to launch the second phase of the Campaign. …/more

Visit www.microfinance.ca to learn more about microfinance and development issues, for regular updates on Canadian events to celebrate the Year and the National Microfinance Day, to submit events, and to find out how to get involved.

For more information on the UN International Year of Microcredit consult the UN website: www.yearofmicrocredit.org

For more details about the 2006 Global Microcredit Summit, visit www.globalmicrocreditsummit2006.org

For information about the initiatives of the Canadian Steering Committee, please contact: Stéphanie Émond at (819) 997-0867 or info@microfinance.ca

/For further information: www.microfinance.ca

Contact Information

  • Stephanie Emond, member of committee, United Nations - Cdn Cmte for Year of Microcredit
    Primary Phone: 819-997-0867
    E-mail: STEPHANIE_EMOND@acdi-cida.gc.ca