Global Poverty Alleviation – Micro Lending Myths and Management

January 13, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

The greatest challenge confronting humanity is alleviating poverty, hunger and disease.

With global population on the rise, the gulf between the rich and poor widening – the worldwide statistics in deaths related to starvation and preventable disease is alarmingly high especially among children, the most vulnerable victims in the human caused misery.

There is no doubt that many organizations such as the United Nations, Government and Non-Governmental efforts in the developing countries including some philanthropists from different corners are striving hard to address this issue to their best of ability.

Their commitment in this regard is remarkable for the situation would be worse in the absence of myriad interventional measures.

As for the industrialized and developed nations’ role in containing the growing humanitarian plight – the G-20 pledge to contribute $100 billion to developing nations is honorable but yet to be exemplified through action.

In the domestic front – economic austerity is adopted in dealing with fiscal crisis.

However, the disproportionate and drastic cuts have been largely aimed at essential services affecting the economically disadvantaged in the society.

The status quo in the United States is attributed to economic policy that facilitated corporate activities with no oversight subsequently rewarding with bailouts, tax cuts and estate tax relief extended recently shifting the national debt burden to the struggling vast majority.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 50 million Americans of which 17 million children are reported to suffer from hunger due to limited affordability. Nearly 13 percent of the U.S. population is stated to be in abject poverty.

Further data reveals that 200 lives could be saved from starvation for the price of one missile.

Last August, the U.S. Senate passed the Healthy,Hunger-Free Kids Act but the legislation is pending congressional approval.

Hence the112th Congress is requested to prioritize this matter over other issues.

Internationally – of the multitude projects underway to assist poorer communities from the burgeoning economic disparity,

Micro lending is the cornerstone to uplift human living standards targeting women empowerment through entrepreneurship proved to thrive in the systems not prone to administrative corruption and/or bureaucratic meddling.

Any program’s long term success is dependent upon the implementation requiring constant review and monitoring at the macro management.

In micro operation the selective criticism against the concept highlighting the lenders’ alleged practices and soaring profits compared with Wall Street gains as modest and creditors’ demeanor mild towards borrowers is indicative of political adaptation to discredit one and appease another when the debtors experience with Wall Street firms confirm otherwise.

Nonetheless the mostly rural based micro financing recipients rely on lenders and their representatives’ verbal explanation about the contract. The misinformation incidents are less when the customers have basic education and understand the terms without being misled in the loan finance.

Usually these mechanisms work better with non-profit organizations having volunteers to perform the necessary tasks from initiating the deal until debt settlement.

Whenever materialism is eliminated in public service it not only cultivates good work ethics but also yields the desirable outcome.

Providing credit to individuals for various businesses is preliminary step and the loan default could be due to circumstances within and beyond human control.

Using successful business as model and incentivizing them to lead others in the village and urban areas could pervasively replicate results.

The major impediments for human progress among the poorest are – lack of education, access to water let alone clean water, inhumane living conditions and environmental disasters rendering survival a mere stroke of luck than individual capability to overcome the odds in life.

For the population in war zones, the expectations are none considering the persistent chaos and carnage depleting human endurance to the point of welcoming end rather than a beginning to life.

When measuring human achievements since the dawn of life on earth – it has been phenomenal in the technological front.

Notwithstanding the ingenuity and innovation in modern science, space exploration… admirably demonstrated in the formidable quest to conquer air, land and ocean.

It is imperative to emphasize that the monumental feat would not have been possible without unified contribution enhanced by diverse talent in reaching for the stars once considered a pleasant dream but not a reality.

If similar passion and dedication were applied in minimizing human suffering overshadowing the significant accomplishments then perhaps the existence of hierarchical societies – the privileged against the less fortunate and downtrodden could diminish bringing fresh hope for all on the horizon.

Natural empathy together with peace and love towards mankind possess incredible power to transcend elements obstructing the path to equality.

Pragmatically the present dystopian society transformation for universal good largely remains with collective responsibility towards self and others.

Sharing knowledge and cherished treasures in life accentuates the joy of giving guaranteed with exceedingly greater returns.

Moreover the humanitarian deeds are never without a positive effect for it enables the human character to evolve surpassing self-promotion.

Political and economic infusion undermines humanitarian missions for it is perceived as a political threat by those in power while the investors view as an economic opportunity.

Grameen Bank and parallel mediums could potentially revolutionize under developed demography through reinvestments instead of redirecting profits in the venture.

The tax exemption when utilized to increase productivity at various levels has substantial prospects for economic development.

In conclusion, micro lending is promising and an effective catalyst to improve social and economic status in any surroundings.

The U.N. Millennium development goals are attainable through accelerated growth and sustenance of similar humanitarian projects.

Humanity future is bright with care and compassion towards all living beings.

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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