Sunday, November 16, 2014

Micro loans can offset effects of climate change

The Daily Star (Bangladesh): Microfinance institutions should modify their financial products for those at vulnerable climate zones to deal with global warming, a keynote speaker at a climate change seminar said yesterday.

The MFIs offer three types of products: loans, savings and insurance. Each product can be modified depending on the type of shock the MFI customers might be suffering from, said Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, coordinator of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation's Community Climate Change Project.

For instance, in areas that are becoming more prone to flooding, MFIs can encourage: aquaculture initiatives among farmers, floating gardens, investment on raised tube wells for safe water and new houses to be built on raised beds or raised embankments.

All these measures can be supported by making use of loans, savings and insurance products that include a set of climate sensitive conditions, he said.

Ahmed's comments came at the inaugural session of a daylong seminar styled 'climate change adaptation at community level: the role of MFIs', jointly organised by the Institute of Microfinance and Bangladesh Water Partnership. The event was aimed at identifying the bankable projects and overcoming the challenges at village level in implementing climate change resilience through microcredit....

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