U.S. Government Seeds Yolanda-Affected Startups to Boost Livelihoods

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Representatives from the Philippine Government, the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) launched today a credit program to help restore livelihoods in Yolanda-affected regions of the Philippines.

USAID, in partnership with PBSP, established the Micro Enterprise Disaster Assistance Fund for Resiliency (MIDAS Fund), and will provide Php180 million (US$4 million) in startup money. From this, loans will be available to micro-finance institutions (MFIs) for lending to 25,000 microenterprises, like sari-sari stores, agricultural production, food processing, dressmaking, and bakeshops.

At the launch, Secretary Panfilo Lacson, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, and USAID Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele awarded a grant from USAID to PBSP. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Manuel V. Pangilinan, and Executive Director Rafael C. Lopa received the grant on behalf of PBSP.

The long-term target of the MIDAS Fund is to create a PhP5 billion revolving credit for 500,000 micro-enterprises in five years, and deliver credit and business support to borrowers. “MIDAS addresses the twin issues of access and affordability of credit after a disaster, whereby MFIs can access funds at zero interest rate and re-lend to members at 4% per annum,” explained Rafael C. Lopa, executive director of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

PBSP will lead the MIDAS Fund program, while the four MFIs − Center for Agriculture and Rural Development – Mutually Reinforcing Initiatives, ASA Foundation Philippines, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, and Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. − will provide loans and business support to the microenterprises.

Through these efforts, USAID, PBSP and the four MFIs, take one step closer to achieving a shared vision of promoting resilient growth throughout the nation.

“Inclusive growth has the power to advance stability and prosperity in the Philippines,” remarked Director Steele. “It is through jobs and other livelihood opportunities that people can lift themselves out of poverty and contribute to sustainable growth in their communities and throughout the nation.”

The United States Government has provided nearly $143 million relief and rehabilitation assistance for Typhoon Yolanda survivors. In partnership with the Philippine Government, USAID is restoring access to education, health services and livelihood activities.

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About USAID

The United States Agency for International Development is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. In the Philippines, USAID partners with the national government to create a more stable, prosperous and well-governed nation. For more information, visit http://www.usaid.gov/philippines or email infoph@usaid.gov.

 

About Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)

Established in 1970, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) is the largest business-led social development organization in the country committed to poverty reduction. With more than 250 large, small and medium-scale companies as members, PBSP helps uplift the lives of Filipinos through social development programs that focus on Health, Education, the Environment, and Livelihood & Enterprise Development (HEEL).

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