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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

9. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what monitoring his Department has undertaken of the provision of development-related small loans and microfinance initiatives in developing countries in the last 12 months. (255794)

DFID recognises the potential of microfinance to reduce poverty and contribute to the achievement of the millennium development goals. We are keen to ensure that the availability of microfinance is sustained through present global economic conditions.

DFID supports the overall monitoring of microfinance through the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a multi-donor partnership working to expand access to finance to which DFID provided £250,000 in the current financial year. DFID contributes to, and relies upon CGAP's surveys of microfinance programmes. We are maintaining close contact with CGAP to monitor evolving trends in the context of the current financial crisis.