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    UN International Year of Microcredit

    The United Nations General Assembly declared 2005 the International Year of Microcredit to enhance recognition of its role in the eradication of poverty. The United Nations Australian office invited nine organisations to form a national committee. This committee sought to examine the hurdles that prevent low-income households from accessing quality savings, credit, insurance, remittances, and other financial services. The committee adopted the following goals:

    • Fill in information gaps (such as research about access to financial services for the country's poor)
    • Raise public awareness (such as developing and implementing a communication campaign; engaging national figures as spokespeople for the International Year of Microcredit; organizing conferences about microfinance and the importance of promoting inclusive financial systems; celebrating the achievements of clients)
    • Build commitment (from government: to ensure that their legal, fiscal and regulatory systems encourage rather than stunt microfinance; and from the private sector, commercial banks, microfinance networks, civil society, and NGOs: to provide financial services to the poor and low-income people primarily as a business concern not as a charitable act).