Vulnerability: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report, 2013
In 2011, 13 million fewer of the world's poorest families received access to microcredit and other financial services than had in 2010, according to the 2013 State of the Sector Report published by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. This marks the first time since 1998 when the Campaign began tracking this data that the total number of clients and the number of poorest families reached has declined. The total number of clients was reported to have fallen from 205 million to 195 million and the sub-set of families living in extreme poverty, defined as less than $1.25 a day, from 137 million to 124 million. Most other parts of the world saw moderate or slowed growth, with the exception of 1.4 million new clients in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite this reverse in 2011, microfinance institutions still provided microloans to more than 124 million households living in extreme poverty. Assuming an average of five persons per family, this means that more than 621 million people were affected; this is twice the entire population of the United States.
This report examines how the microfinance community can improve the products and services to address the needs of those most vulnerable to poverty. The report argues that getting the industry back on track will require a new understanding of clients' needs, preferences, and aspirations, as well as designing new tools for delivering products and services to them at lower costs.