From Haiti to Honduras, Supporting Women’s Health Through Microcredit

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Above: treatment at a medical clinic in Gonaives, Haiti (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

A new initiative by the Multilateral Investment Fund will promote business models aimed at offering accessible health services to low-income women in countries including Haiti, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The programme is a partnership between the MIF and Global Partnerships; it will target as many as 75,000 low-income women and their families.

The project will receive financing of over $1 million over a three-year implementation period. It will look to introduce “integrated business models” that use microfinance institutions to deliver health services and health education to low-income households for a basic fee, according to the MIF.

“Connecting microcredit and savings with health prevention and educational services offers complementary solutions for two intertwined problems faced by millions of people living in poverty,” said Carrie McKellogg, unit chief of basic services at the MIF.

It project follows work by Global Partnerships and other international partners at the Pro-Mujer microfinance institution in Nicaragua.

“We know that poor health or accidents can create serious economic shocks and have long-term effects of deepening poverty by diminishing an individual’s ability to be economically productive,” she said. “This partnership will support leading-edge solutions that are fully sustainable.”