Micro-financing available for persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDSFriday, September 22, 2006 – 4:14 pm
Source: Stabroek News
Micro-financing is now available for persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS through the Institute of Private Enterprise Develop-ment (IPED) which has teamed up with USAID/ GHARP and two other local companies on the project.
It was officially an-nounced yesterday that persons who fall into either category could now access loans from IPED to start a small business for their livelihood.
Within the last year USAID/GHARP advocated for private sector collaboration on the project which could impact significantly on many affected persons and IPED, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Guyana Lottery Company got on board.
The project is aimed at helping affected persons become more productive and economically independent and IPED is being used as a vehicle for persons to secure the money.
According to USAID/GHARP, IPED was chosen because its services are accessible in all ten administrative regions, various types of collateral are accepted including a lien on household items depending on the case under consideration, and IPED does not ask about the HIV status of clients.
Dr. Leslie Chin, Chief Executive Officer of IPED, said yesterday that 22 loans have been given out and they hope to reach the target of 200 by yearend. He said the organisation continues to work with several NGOs on various HIV/AIDS projects and is looking at workplace training in the area. In addition, he said, IPED has plans to create an HIV/AIDS corporate policy document.
GT&T supported the project with $750,000, and the company’s Deputy General Manager Terry Holder said they feel committed. He said giving back to the public is part of their policy.
And the Lotto Company provided $1M to be used as collateral. Marketing Officer Shairnette Noble pledged the company’s continued support to such projects.
Derrick Cummings of USAID/GHARP noted that the partnership is a living example of how several efforts can blend seamlessly to achieve a common objective once effectively coordinated. He said the partnership is designed to impact positively on efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination.
The first IPED loan was granted on December 23, 2005 and when Stabroek News published an article on the initiative last month 13 persons out of 51 had already accessed loans. The loans accessed at that time were for poultry, vending, and manufacturing. One person had bought a brush cutter and was cutting grass in people’s yards and another person was trading goods around the Caribbean.
The article also outlined the process of accessing loans and why IPED got involved, among other things. The project was then still in its embryonic state.