People living in extreme poverty are often one illness away from losing everything, and better provision of basic health education and services, clean water, and sanitation can make the greatest difference to health outcomes.
In the absence of more systemic, government-led provision of such services in such countries as India, a number of MFIs have been building on their existing financial services delivery system to also provide low-cost health protection services.
As of December 2012, the Health and Microfinance Alliance is working with 32 MFIs, self-help group promoting institutions (SHPIs), and networks in India, which are reaching some 470,000 clients and more than 2.4 million family members with microfinance and health protection services. This number continues to grow every month as our Alliance partners scale up their operations and new partners join.
In India alone, the Alliance has set a goal to reach 3.5 million of the country’s poorest households in the next three years and has elaborated the following global vision for 2020:
- In India, 50 million MFI and SHG clients will benefit from improved access to health education, services, and products, and the Alliance will develop local capacity to support or grow health and microfinance products and services.
- Health and microfinance programs will have been started in at least three regions of the world other than India that reach at least 10 million people.
- Models, training tools, and case studies on health and microfinance will be widely disseminated and used wherever microfinance is taught, and the Alliance will establish a global learning network to support growth and innovation in health and microfinance products and services.
The Alliance has published two reports that explore integrated health and microfinance in India and the Andes region (Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru). They demonstrate how microfinance is being leveraged in these countries to provide a powerful tool to address ill health caused by lack of access to health services.
Both of these reports are available at www.microcreditsummit.org.
Learn more about Freedom from Hunger at www.freedomfromhunger.org.
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Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Reaching Fewer
- The Promise of Mobile Technology
- The Psychology of Scarcity
- Developing Appropriate Products
- Conclusion and Recommendations
- Get Your Copy