Annan says cooperatives have major role to play in reducing poverty
Financial cooperatives owned autonomously and operated democratically by member-clients, unlike financial institutions that operate for profit, have a major role to play in the battle against poverty, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a message marking United Nations International Day of Cooperatives, observed on 2 July.
“United Nations studies suggest that, by providing improved access to credit, safe and secure savings and insurance, such services can help poor people to boost their incomes, protect their assets and reduce their vulnerability to crises,” he adds.
“Cooperatives can strengthen the participation and inclusion of the poor in financial decision-making and management. At the same time, they can help create a social context that promotes high rates of loan repayment.
“That is why, in our global effort to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, we should view cooperatives as instruments of proven effectiveness in extending the reach of microfinance to poor people, particularly women, and thereby empowering them to take control of their own lives.”