10 October 2018 – Opportunity Chief Executive Officer, Meredith Scott, says: “During the last 20 years, the number of people living in poverty has halved due to economic growth and a range of poverty alleviation initiatives implemented by governments, NGOs, individual donors and the private sector.
“An important tool contributing to reduced poverty is microfinance, with over 200 million microentrepreneurs benefiting from small loans to build income-generating businesses.
“These businesses have generated sufficient income to provide 1 billion people with regular meals and millions of parents can now afford to send their children to school.
“However, despite progress, there are still 2 billion people living on less than US$3.20 a day.
“These people struggle to survive.
“They cannot afford life’s basic necessities like regular meals, clean water, sanitation, healthcare and education.
“I hope Anti-Poverty Week draws attention to the dire circumstances in which so many people live and motivates a concerted effort by the global community to step up its efforts to end poverty.
“I realise the task before us is more difficult and complex than previously because many of the families we need to reach are the most marginalised.
“They’ve slipped through the cracks and don’t have a safety net to catch them. They may be hard to reach because they live in remote rural locations; they might be suffering illness and malnutrition and lack affordable healthcare and education services in their area; or there may be a domestic violence issue that prevents women from working.
“At Opportunity, we’re adapting the way we help families break the cycle of poverty.
“We know the context in which families live, such as their remote location or lack of health and education services, is increasingly important and we’re developing large scale, sustainable programs to address these challenges.
“But we depend on the support of generous Australians to help families journey out of poverty.
“One way Aussies can help us is to jump on board our Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign.
“We’re encouraging Aussie families to cook a curry, share it with friends and raise funds so families in India, Indonesia and the Philippines can receive loans to help them start or build businesses.
“These businesses provide families with sufficient income to buy basic necessities and repay their loans.
“As 98 per cent of loans are repaid, the funds are lent to more and more families over time and many businesses employ locals, creating ripple effects throughout the community.
“We’d love families across Australia to get involved in the Great Australian Curry campaign to honour Anti-Poverty Week and end poverty,” she adds.
If you’d like to host a Great Australian Curry event, click here.
About Opportunity International Australia
With more than 45 years’ experience, Opportunity International Australia gives families the tools they need to work their way out of poverty. For a family in a developing country struggling to survive, a small loan can help them build a business and earn a regular income with dignity and purpose. As businesses grow and employ others, 98% of loans are repaid and recycled, creating a ripple effect that reaches more and more people over time.
Leveraging the relationship-based distribution network our microfinance partners operate in, we supplement loans with community development solutions that address other barriers that often keep families in poverty. We help them live safe, healthy lives, send their children to school, ending poverty for generations to come.
Don’t fight poverty. End it.
Opportunity International Australia