As part of the CLSP, IOM has been providing training on Access to Credit (A2C) in Ampara District, which was badly affected by the 2004 tsunami and years of civil unrest, to educate the population on how to take advantage of formal credit facilities.
While there are a number of institutions offering credit to small businesses and individuals in Ampara, there is relatively poor understanding of how they work, leading people to use informal credit networks that often charge much higher rates, according to IOM Sri Lanka Chief of Mission Richard Danziger,
“There are a number of low interest loan schemes tailored to the needs of small businesses offered by banks and other lending institutions in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, too many people remain unaware of this or misunderstand how these loans work,” he says.
Some 1,080 people who participated in the A2C training are expected to visit the “Credit Fair”, which will run through Saturday and Sunday (21-22/5) in Ampara.
“This training has helped us overcome myths about credit. Many of us used to think that there was a lot of paperwork, that interest rates were too high and that big businessmen are favoured. Now we know this is not true. We can save a lot of money by using formal credit and can also receive other business development services from banks,” says one A2C participant, who now runs a small shop in Irakkamam.
IOM’s EU-funded CLSP programme, which focuses on rebuilding social and productive infrastructure and livelihoods in Ampara District, has implemented some 110 projects serving more than quarter of a million residents. Some 45,000 people have been direct beneficiaries of the programme.
For more information please contact Duminda Perera at IOM Ampara. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 94.71.536.2989.