Peoples Bank launches microfinance website with German support

[TamilNet, Monday, 31 January 2005, 11:17 GMT]
The People’s Bank, through its German-supported Rural Banking Innovations Project (RBIP), has launched a website on sustainable microfinance for rehabilitation of tsunami affected areas, said a press release issued by the Colombo office of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). The website, which can be accessed at www.microfinance.lk is intended to be a bridge between microfinance practitioners and donors, who need to work in unison in order to support the affected regions and their entrepreneurs, the Press Release noted.

Full text of the Press Release issued by the German Development Organisation (GTZ) Colombo Office, follows:

Website supports commercially viable microfinance for post-tsunami development

The People’s Bank, through its German-supported Rural Banking Innovations Project (RBIP), has launched a website on sustainable microfinance for rehabilitation of tsunami affected areas.

The website, which can be accessed at (www.microfinance.lk) was launched this week with the intension of providing comprehensive information on tsunami-related microfinance activities in Sri Lanka.

It is also intended to be a bridge between microfinance practitioners and donors, who need to work in unison in order to support the affected regions and their entrepreneurs to get back on their feet and restart commercial activities without delay.

“Microfinance will play an important role in rebuilding and strengthening enterprises in tsunami-battered communities,” said Dr. Dirk Steinwand, advisor for the RBIP and one of the initiators of the website. “The need of the hour is to strengthen and expand existing microfinance systems in order to facilitate access to credit for affected families, enabling them to start new livelihoods or to rehabilitate existing ones.”

The Rural Banking Innovations Project is a joint initiative of the People’s Bank of Sri Lanka and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and is operated with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

According to the website’s managers, microfinance practitioners can post the following information on the website: About their institution; kind of assistance they can offer for the tsunami victims; kind of assistance they need to start/continue tsunami related Microfinance activities.

They can receive the following information from the website: Kind of assistance donors are ready to offer for tsunami related microfinance activities; some best practices to adapt during post disaster situations; up-coming events, latest news on the subject, etc.

Donors, on the other hand, can post information about their institutions and on the kind of assistance they can offer.

Donors can get from the website information on the following: Kind of assistance microfinance-practitioners need to start/continue tsunami related microfinance activities; how donors can respond prudently and rapidly to natural disasters in order to provide sustainable and commercially viable microfinance; latest news on tsunami related microfinance activities.

The tsunami which struck Sri Lanka on December 26th decimated extensive areas along the country’s coastal belt and destroyed crops, fishing and other means of livelihoods of the people of these regions.

 

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