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Friday, 29 January 2016

DFID: £2 Million for El Nino Response in Africa through World Vision

Families devastated by what is predicted to be particularly severe El Niño weather patterns in six African countries are to benefit from small loans to rebuild their livelihoods, following a £2 million ‘returnable grant’ from the UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) to aid agency World Vision UK and its microfinance partner, VisionFund International. Vedaste, of Rwanda, is now employed as a carpenter and is able to help support his family. When people like Vedaste are able to develop their small businesses, families can be positively impacted. “This ‘hand up’ rather than ‘hand out’ approach empowers individuals to recreate their livelihoods and restore independence," explains Mr Scott Brown, VisionFund International’s President and Chief Executive Officer. With anticipated drought in West and Southern Africa and potentially severe flooding in East Africa, VisionFund will use the funds to provide additional resources to its MFIs in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi and Mali in order for them to issue recovery loans to their clients. These loans will be targeted at suitable individuals affected by El Niño, and may be larger and over a longer period than typical microfinance lending. The loans are to help rebuild businesses destroyed by flooding and drought in order to restore economic independence to families, and provide economic stimulus to communities, as quickly as possible. It is anticipated that VisionFund’s recovery loans will help restore the livelihoods of around 18,000 families, impacting approximately 40,000 children. The UK Government's Department for International Development (DFID) has granted additional funds of £200,000 to manage and measure the project’s impact and capture learnings for the industry on the role of microfinance in disaster response. In appropriate contexts, recovery lending can complement traditional humanitarian assistance as it focuses on specific economic groups within the community. World Vision and VisionFund will work closely together to ensure that Vision Fund’s recovery lending approach is closely aligned and integrated with World Vision’s immediate humanitarian response. Once individuals are ready to rebuild their businesses or start entrepreneurial activities, they may apply to VisionFund’s MFIs for a recovery loan. It is another tool to help communities recover and VisionFund ensures that any financial risk has been properly assessed for those who receive a loan.

Source: PR Web