October 20, 2005 07:00 ET

Canada Declares October 20th National Microfinance Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 20, 2005) - The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Minister of International Cooperation, has announced the declaration of October 20th as National Microfinance Day. The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has invested more than $1 billion over the past 35 years in microfinance initiatives to reduce poverty in developing countries.

"Canada recognizes that microfinance is an effective and powerful tool for reducing poverty and contributing to the achievement the Millennium Development Goals," said Minister Carroll. "Microfinance initiatives provide financial services for the poor, help individuals earn a living and build assets to reduce vulnerability in times of hardship. Microfinance is an important part of our private sector strategy."

CIDA is actively involved in a Canadian Steering Committee that responds to the United Nations' invitation to raise awareness during the International Year of Microcredit. It works closely with Canadian public and private organizations involved in domestic and international microfinance.

To mark National Microfinance Day, CIDA will host a panel session on October 20, 2005, featuring microfinance experts from the UN Capital Development Fund, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the Micro Enterprise Financing Limited in Jamaica, Developpement international Desjardins, and the Canadian Community Investment Network.

Special events to celebrate National Microfinance Day will take place in communities across Canada and are listed on

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Andrew Graham
    Director of communications
    (819) 953-6238
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 953-6534 (electronic version of document)