PPAF seeks to increase the availability and productive use of microfinance, and promotes the potential of remittances and microfinance for economic and social development. PPAF has collaborated with innovative organizations in Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, and has emphasized the role of women as senders and receivers of remittances.
PPAF representatives have attended several recent seminars on microfinance, remittances and clean-fueled lamps and cookstoves organized by Arc Finance. The head of Arc has also spoken at a seminar organized by PPAF. (See the "Events" item for March 11, 2015.)
MICROFINANCE is the supply of loans, savings, and other basic financial services to the poor. It encourages and helps meet the needs of small entrepreneurs at the family level. The overwhelming majority of people who earn less than $1 a day, especially in the rural areas, continue to have no practical access to formal sector finance. Poor people need a variety of financial services, not just loans.
By supporting women's economic participation, microfinance helps to empower women, thus promoting gender-equity and improving household well-being.
REMITTANCES are transfers of money by foreign workers to their home countries. Money sent home by migrants constitutes the second largest financial inflow to many developing countries, frequently exceeding international aid.
Remittances in 2010 to PPAF focus countries were (in US$): Dominican Republic $3.4 billion;
Haiti $1.5 billion; Madagascar $10 million.
Madagascar Microfinance - Translations - Summer 2008
At the request of a former high government official, a PPAF Senior Fellow with banking experience assisted in refining a business plan for a microfinance institution for entrepreneurs. To support the project, a PPAF intern translated from English into French the Women’s World Banking (WWB) publication
“Individual Lending, A Women’s World Banking How-To Guide,”
written by Hans Dellien and Olivia Leland (2006), 129 pages long in the French version.
The intern also translated from English into French a microfinance business plan originally prepared in the Dominican Republic by Esperanza International. PPAF also helped in marketing the project to potential investors and donors.
Western Union Foundation Grant for Partner Organization- Summer 2008
(l) Carlos Pimentel, (r) Dave Valle
PPAF worked with Carlos Pimentel and Dave Valle of Esperanza International, a non-profit in the D.R., and mentored two Columbia University graduate students to prepare a proposal to Western Union Foundation. The resulting $10,000 grant provided assistance in financial literacy training and cash support to microenterprise lending in the D.R. through Esperanza International.
Partners Against Poverty
Money Transmitters Conference - November 2007
PPAF focused on policy issues of remittances and development at the International Money Transmitters Conference, held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November 2007. Over 300 participants from the U.S. and other countries attended the sessions. PPAF arranged with the organizers for Dr. Carmen Moreno, Executive Director of UN-INSTRAW to speak - on gender issues, migration, remittances and development. She noted that women are about half of all migrants, and represent half of senders of remittances and 70% of recipients.
Regional Conference on Remittances - July 2006
A month before the Foundation was officially registered as a non-profit corporation, team members including Amb. Francis Lorenzo and David Stillman joined with UNDP, the Dominican Government and FUNGLODE to convene the Regional Consultation on Migration, Remittances and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held in Santo Domingo, D.R. This brought together 75 representatives from 13 countries. The Dominican Government submitted results of the conference to the UN General Assembly.