This paper is based on the market research that Freedom from Hunger and five microfinance institutions conducted in 2006 to understand the impact of health on poor livelihoods and their ability to repay loans. It also examines the need for health financing in Bolivia, Bénin, Burkina Faso, India and the Philippines.

The results reinforce the need for appropriate health services for microfinance clients all across the world, and highlight the importance of services like health education, training programs and health finance. Freedom from Hunger studied the local health needs, demands, available services and MFI capacities, and introduced five innovative health protection packages that are not only relevant, but also sustainable and scalable/replicable.