Mr. Speaker, Microcredit has been one of the most successful development strategies of this century.
Twenty years ago Dr. Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and began to lend small amounts of money to those who had never been considered acceptable credit risks before, mainly impoverished rural women. These women invested the loans with spectacular returns, thus benefiting all members of their families and the economic health of their country.
Microcredit is now included in development projects worldwide, in developed countries as well as poor ones.
The Calmeadow Foundation in Toronto is a pioneer in Microcredit in this country, making small loans available to the inner city poor and to aboriginal groups throughout Canada.
Today in Washington two of our colleagues joined delegates from 36 countries to promote the use of Microcredit worldwide.
We should join together in wishing them the best of luck in this endeavour, which is so crucial to the future of so many people around the world.