In the last issue of ICBL News, we analyzed some elements for successful economic inclusion of landmine survivors. Now let’s focus on access to capital, which is fundamental to start income-generating activities or small businesses.
Access to capital is needed to gather enough resources to cover expenses to start a business: tools, raw materials, etc. People often turn to loans, and the development of microcredit in recent years has proved that people with low income are more reliable backing paying back their loans – if the project is well planned and followed up.
But - is microcredit accessible to mine/ERW survivors and other persons with disabilities? Through a Handicap International study we found that only a limited number of them have access to it. Reasons for this include discrimination and tough prerequisites.
Successful activities to reduce these challenges include:
- Raising awareness among persons with disabilities on the mechanisms of microcredit;
- Meeting with microcredit institutions to raise awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities and on possible adjustments to methodologies to make them more inclusive;
- Sharing examples of persons with disabilities who have succeeded in their economic activities;
- Establishing partnerships between organizations of persons with disabilities and microfinance institutions;
- Working with professionals – managing microcredit requires a specific expertise to ensure sustainability.
For more information, please see http://www.handicap-international.fr/uploads/media/goodpractices-GB-2coul.PDF or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wanda Muñoz, Handicap International