19 May 2004

Vanuatu microfinance scheme revamped

4:39 pm on 19 May 2004

A scheme to give small loans to disadvantaged women in Vanuatu is being revamped as a commercial institution with a new office opening in Port Vila next month.

The Vanuatu Women's Development Scheme has been renamed VANWODS Microfinance Incorporated.

The scheme aims to reduce poverty by helping people start up small businesses and teach money management.

A UN Regional microfinance specialist, Willie Garcia, says its four year plan will see the loan scheme expand to provide training in small business management.

"Through VANWODS we can provide all opportunities for the poor, low income and disadvantaged which will improve the standard of living and quality of life for these people."

Willie Garcia says VANWODS expects to provide loans totalling almost 5-million US over the next six years.

The new microfinance office is due to open on June the first.