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Economic Development

Today, most Africans - well over 50% - live on less than $2 a day.

CARE's economic development programs support women and their families by supporting money making activities, such as village savings and loan associations. The associations encourage communities to self-manage their financial savings and loan programs.

Today, most Africans – well over 50 percent – live on less than $2 a day. For most, there is little or no access to basic financial services. CARE launched our first microfinance program in Niger in 1991 to address this need.

Tradition provides key to a better future

Women have long been at the heart of Africa’s informal savings cooperatives – among the world’s oldest and most prevalent savings methods. These associations form the foundation for CARE’s pioneering approach to microfinance. They are sustainable and self-funded, built by members through their own savings.As members of saving and loan associations, women receive training, benefit from group solidarity, earn their own income and invest in what matters most to them: their families. The result is enhanced self-esteem, greater participation in public life, better nutrition, health and education for children, and new dynamics in their relationships with men.

Feature projects:


The BEACON project aims to ensure that children and youth have the knowledge and skills to be productive members of Afghan society.

The Promoting Local Economic Development with Transparency and Dialogue among the Communities, the Local Governments and the Mining Company project in Peru aims to help poor families in the target area increase their income and employment opportunities.



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