Friday, 3 December 2010

ECLOF: Ecumenical Microfinance for Human Development

Some time ago, I posted about the World Council of Churches Oikocredit microfinance programme.  It is good to see there is another microfinance programme supported by the churches.  ECLOF is one of those organisations whose name has gone out of date, so these days it stands for ecumenical microfinance for human development.  Here are some excerpts from its website:

ECLOF provides credit and other services to the poor and the excluded across the world.  It is a non-profit ecumenical microfinance organisation focused on supporting human development and building sustainable communities.  Aiming to strengthen small and social income-generating enterprises, ECLOF offers fair terms of credit through supportive local networks. ECLOF also helps build essential community infrastructure in developing countries.  Founded in 1946, ECLOF now works through National ECLOFs in more than thirty countries.  ECLOF has over 200,000 active clients with an outstanding loan portfolio of over US$22 million.

ECLOF's origins are interesting:
Following World War II, ECLOF International (the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund as it was then known) was formed to provide credit to help rebuild churches.  ECLOF later set up National ECLOFs around the world to grant loans for small-scale income generating projects in the "Third World" or "the South".  Today, ECLOF's major activity is lending to small and social businesses in the Africa, EurAsia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean regions, as well as the building of community infrastructure such as schools, clinics and churches.
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