- Ecorazzi blog reports on a new album produced by WHY to combat poverty:
New artists and veteran rockers join forces on a new benefit album SERVE2 to support WHY, a leader in the fight against hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. ... WHY was founded over thirty years ago by singer-songwriter Harry Chapin. According to the website:
WHY is convinced that solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grassroots level. WHY advances long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based organizations that empower individuals and build self-reliance, i.e., offering job training, education and after school programs; increasing access to housing and healthcare; providing microcredit and entrepreneurial opportunities; teaching people to grow their own food; and assisting small farmers. WHY connects these organizations to funders, media and legislators.The album contains tracks from such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, KT Tunstall, Joss Stone, and Brandi Carlile. Click on through for more information.
- The Economist has an interesting article on the economic/corruption revolution in Bangladesh, the birthplace of microcredit, which quotes Mohammad Yunus criticizing the World Bank for not spending more on microfinance.
- Speaking of Bangladesh, UPI Asia has an opinion piece from a Bangladeshi activist (writing under a pseudonym) about the thorough corruption of the NGO sector in Bangladesh, owing to the necessity of bribing officials of the NGO Affairs Bureau.
- And finally, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke talked about microfinance during the first ever US Summit on Microfinance in San Antonio.
“Microenterprises not only provide a path to economic self-reliance for owner-entrepreneurs and benefit their local communities, but they are also important for the economy as a whole.”Bernanke stated that a “promising avenue” for the future of microfinance is the cultivation of partnerships with commercial banks. “Mainstream banks typically don’t offer the array of supportive services found at microlenders. But by partnering with a microlender that incubates very small businesses, mainstream institutions can gain new customers when the borrowers ‘graduate’ from the microfinance program and seek larger loans,” Bernanke said.