Thursday, July 19, 2007

Islamic microfinance

There is a good article written by Dr. Mohammed Obaidullah, a senior economist at the Islamic Development Bank, about the connection between Islamic microfinance and conventional microfinance in terms of the 'best practices'. The one comment I have is about the statement that "Often the poor own high-market-value assets, such as, land in a prime city location without being able to derive income or benefit from the asset." One of the major problems the urban poor face (particularly if they are migrants from rural areas) is that they have no ownership of the land they occupy (see, for example, this article about the removal of the poor from urban land on which they are squatting in the Philippines). I believe that microfinance based on Islamic principles will be successful and the IHI is working on a nondenominational model based upon Islamic principles.

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