Practice of Integrating Health Into Microfinance

Participants in the forum on microfinance health services held on May 30 in Lima. From left to right: Cassie Chandler, Iris Lanao, Yolirruth Núñez, Indira Melgar Salazar and Javier Torres Goitia

Participants in the forum on microfinance health services held on May 30 in Lima. From left to right: Cassie Chandler, Iris Lanao, Yolirruth Núñez, Indira Melgar Salazar and Javier Torres Goitia

Originally published in: Microfinanzas, May 31, 2013 (Spanish)

FORUM ON "PRACTICE OF INTEGRATING HEALTH INTO MICROFINANCE"

Health for All

On May 30, [2013] the forum "Status of the practice of integrating health into Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian microfinance services” was held on the premises of the Hotel Melia in Lima." It was organized by Freedom from Hunger, with the support of OikoCredit International cooperative, an institution that provides financial resources to various microfinance institutions organizations around the world.

Participating as speakers in the event, also sponsored by the Center for Heath Market Innovations (CHMI) and Microcredit Summit Campaign, were Cassie Chandler, Manager, Microfinance and Health Protection, Freedom from Hunger;  Iris Lanao, FINCA Peru Executive Director; Yolirruth Núñez, OikoCredit International Technical Support Manager for the Northern Region of South America; Indira Melgar Salazar, ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Peru Microfinance Portafolio Manager; and Javier Torres-Goitia Caballero, Pediatrician, Pulmonologist, and Public Health Professor from Bolivia.

The forum included presentations on various experiences with health programs run by organizations such as Finca Peru and ADRA in Peru, along with reflections on Freedom from Hunger's experiences in Ecuador and Bolivia, two of the countries where Freedom from Hunger is currently developing microfinance interventions.

Freedom from Hunger plans on serving over 200.000 families through partnerships with 33 institutions in Peru, by 2014. The organization’s efforts focus on providing credit support to its twelve current partners for the development of interventions in the area of education; it is also adding new partners in regions not yet reached by its services.

One of the main goals of Freedom from Hunger is to build a health and microfinance community of practice for the Andean region. Another objective is to launch the Saving for Change initiative in the Amazon region, an area underserved by traditional microfinance institutions.

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