August 2007: Ask your rep to attend the meeting with the World Bank president on Microcredit

Globally, one billion people live on less than $1 a day.

The first Millennium Development Goal is to cut absolute poverty in half by 2015.

While not a panacea, microcredit provides small loans and other financial services to help start or expand a small business and can help provide a dignified route out of poverty.

One congressman called it a hand up, not a handout.

After foot-dragging by two previous World Bank presidents, new World Bank President Robert Zoellick agreed to meet with members of Congress to discuss four policy changes:

  1. Double World Bank microfinance funds from less than 1 percent to 2 percent.
  2. Commit half to families living on less than $1 a day.
  3. Require the use of cost-effective poverty measurement tools to ensure compliance.
  4. Report annually on results.

It is critical that you meet with the World Bank president and make sure that these changes happen.