November 09, 2006 16:15 ET

CIDA: Ministers Verner and MacKay to Attend Global Microcredit Summit in Halifax

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 9, 2006) - International Cooperation Minister and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages Josee Verner and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Peter MacKay today announced their participation in the Global Microcredit Summit 2006, which Canada is hosting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from November 12 to 15, 2006.

"Microfinancing, which includes microcredit, is an important tool in fighting poverty because it provides people with the resources to start new businesses and generate the income needed to support their families," Minister Verner said. "In Afghanistan, Canada is continuing to support a national microcredit program that is critical in helping its most vulnerable citizens C women and children C and the results speak for themselves. For example, an Afghan shopkeeper was able to obtain a loan to open a shop where she sells curtains and other drapery; she now employs five other women and provides for her entire family."

"Canada is committed to the core values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights around the world and to doing our part as a responsible and engaged global actor," said Minister MacKay. "Microfinance is a key component of Canadian development efforts in Afghanistan, where Canada is the lead donor to microfinance programs. These borrowers have repaid 98% of these loans with interest."

Minister MacKay will be speaking at the opening ceremony of the Summit on the morning of November 12th while on November 14th, Minister Verner will be chairing a panel on results achieved around the world through microfinance initiatives.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provided $500,000, and the Canadian International Development Agency $250,000, to organize this year's conference. The Global Microcredit Summit 2006 will offer the opportunity for microfinance practitioners, advocates, donors, and others committed to the Summit's goals to assess progress, discuss challenges to achieving the new goals for 2015, and identify strategies for overcoming those challenges.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Pascale St-Pierre
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534 (electronic version of document)