Participants from more than 65 countries arrive Tuesday in Merida for a four-day summit to discuss ways microcredit can fight poverty around the world.
“We hope that our summit is part of a new movement to bring shared prosperity and economic opportunity for all,” Larry Reed, Microcredit Summit Campaign director, said yesterday at a press conference in Mexico City. Government and financial service providers can work together to give families better odds to escape poverty, Reed added.
At a press conference in the auditorium of the Ministry of Economy, Reed stated that Merida was chosen for the XIII National Meeting of Micfrofinanciamiento and the 17th Global Microcredit Summit for its suitable infrastructure and its Siglo XXI convention center, which can accommodate guests and cultural programs.
Reed reported that the event “will bring policy makers and agency leaders, the government of African countries, to learn from the work done by the Mexican government in social protection and financial inclusion.”
Noting that the central theme of the summit is “Next Generation: Innovations in Microfinance,” Reed said that the next generation may be the first to enter adulthood living in a world without extreme poverty.
“Since we meet in the land of the ancient Maya and will be surrounded by huge structures that testify to the ingenuity of mankind, remember that his schedule demanded the end of an old era and the beginning of a new world,” he said.
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Queen Sofia of Spain and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands will not attend this event in Mérida, Reed reported. But among the prominent figures who will be at the event is 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the concept of microfinance and microcredit.
Microcredit supplies very small loans to impoverished borrowers who cannot offer collateral.