Microfinance and the Millennium Development Goals

A reader's guide to the Millennium Project Reports and other United Nations documents

This document provides information from key reports on the importance of access to microfinance in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It states that:

  • The MDGs, which are globally-adopted targets for reducing extreme poverty by 2015, address:
    • income poverty, hunger, and disease;
    • lack of education, infrastructure and shelter;
    • gender exclusion and environmental degradation.
  • Low-income countries need microfinance to achieve the MDGs.
  • Microfinance underpins the achievement of many MDGs and plays a key role in several MDG strategies.
  • It fosters financially self-sufficient domestic private sectors and creates wealth for low-income people.

Further, the document states that the United Nations General Assembly designated 2005 as the Year of Microcredit to underline the importance of microfinance in the development agenda. By emphasizing access to microfinance in its recommendations, the UN Millennium Project seeks to focus country strategies and programs to build inclusive financial sectors that will catalyze achievement of the MDGs.Finally, the document serves as a guide to the relevant microfinance and financial sector access text in select high-level development agendas that emphasize microfinance as a critical means to reduce poverty. These include:

  • The G8 Declaration of 2004;
  • The Commission on Private Sector Development;
  • The Brussels Programme of Action;
  • The Africa Commission Report.

About this Publication