Bank director Elizabeth Littlefield rejected Yunus's criticism, at a microcredit summit in Canada this week, that "not even one percent" of the World Bank's total lending goes to microcredit funding.
"That actually is quite a narrow definition of the World Bank's spending in microcredit, it relates only to credit lines on lending to microcredit institutions," she said.
The actual number "could be up to six percent of its total budget, about 1.3 billion dollars, if you use a much broader definition that includes credit lines, policy advice, payment systems, work on regulation and supervision as well."
The above paragraph is taken from the CGAP press site and copyrights belong to AFP.
The reason why I am referring to this article is because although I agree with Yunus that the World Bank should do more, it would be so unfair to overlook the non-financial support and gigantic work and efforts of building the infrastructure for the microfinance industry that CGAP has been doing for the past 10 years.
Another press article about Elizabeth Littlefield that came out after the summit is "What is next for microfinance" Very good read.
The Global Microcredit Summit 2006 took place Nov 12-15th in Halifax. Over 2300 delegates attended to monitor, discuss and celebrate having reached their goal of providing 100 mn of the world's poorest families access to microcredit. 2 new goals were announced at this summit to (1) ensure 175 million of the world's poorest families have access to credit (affecting 875 million family members) by 2015, and (2) help 100 million of the world's poorest families move above the $1/day threshold by 2015 (affecting 500 million family members).
Prof. Yunus Muhammad, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner was one of the keynote speakers. Prof. Yunus together with Sam Daley-Harris, founder of RESULTS and the Microcredit Summit Campaign, talked to the media on Nov 14th. One can listen or read the transcript of this media call.
A few words on the websites/blogs that I find very useful in my area (microfinance, sustainable business models, and social entrepreneurship). 3 sites on microfinance: CGAP for the most thorough coverage on issues of microfinance, Mixmarket, is the best place if you would like to search for microfinance institutions by country or continent as well as look for investment funds that are available, while Microcapital informs about all what is going on in the world of microfinance investments. NextBillion is an excellent site connecting development and enterprise by identifying and discussing sustainable business models that address the needs of the poor. SocialEdge is a platform for social entreprenuers to discuss cutting-edge issues shaping the field, as well as to network and support the growth of social entrepreneurship.