Annette Brooke MP re-elected as Chair of the APPG on Microfinance

Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole was re-elected yesterday as the Chair of the All Party-Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Microfinance. The election took place at the APPG’s Annual General Meeting in the Houses of Parliament.

Annette Brooke founded the APPG on Microfinance in 2002 after having been introduced to the issue by a local constituent – who just happened to be a member of the Poole RESULTS group! Since then, the APPG has grown to become a leading forum for Parliamentarians, practitioners, academics and non-governmental organisations interested in microfinance.

The APPG was instrumental in supporting the UK National Committee for the UN International Year of Microcredit in 2005 and was one of the sponsors for Professor Muhammad Yunus to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

In accepting the post, Annette Brooke said,

“I am delighted that the APPG on Microfinance continues to have the cross-party support of so many politicians as well as from many leading British organisations and academics. Working together we will be able to raise even greater awareness of this powerful type of development which enables individuals, families and communities in developing countries to help themselves and work their way out of lifelong poverty.

“Almost 3 billion people worldwide do not have access to formal financial services and instead rely on irregular and unreliable sources of income. The UK has an important role to play in helping more people gain access to financial services as well as monitoring the social impact of microfinance on its clients.

“Whilst by no means a silver bullet, effective microfinance programmes can contribute towards the achievement of all of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those relating to eradicating hunger and poverty and the empowerment of women. The UN MDG Summit in September is a key opportunity for the international community to review the progress that has been made in eradicating extreme poverty and the role that microfinance can play in helping poor people help themselves.”

Other Members of Parliament were also elected as Officers of the APPG today:

  • Kerry McCarthy, MP for Bristol East was elected as a Vice Chair
  • Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon was also elected a Vice Chair
  • Robert Syms, MP for Poole was re-elected as the APPG’s Treasurer

Microfinance offers poor people access to basic financial services such as loans, savings, money transfer services and insurance.

The purpose of the APPG on Microfinance is to raise awareness of microfinance and the role it can play in reducing poverty, particularly in the developing world. The APPG has members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, representing all of the main political parties. You can find out more about the group by visiting the website www.appg-microfinance.org.

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