US organization Global Partnerships has announced that it has invested $4.5 million of a new $20 million social investment fund in six Latin American microfinance institutions and will have disbursed all the fund’s capital by the end of the year. All the recipients to date offer ‘microfinance plus’, combining loans with services such as business education, health services and agricultural training. COMIXMUL, a Honduran cooperative, provides women with microcredit and services such as financial education, trade skills training and access to preventive health education; Crediflorida, a cooperative in central Peru, provides small-scale rural coffee farmers with credit at lower than commercial interest rates, training in growing and diversifying crops, and access to higher-profit speciality markets; and FONDECO provides affordable financial services to rural farmers and women in Bolivia. The other recipients are D-MIRO in Ecuador, FONDESURCO in Peru, and FRAC in Mexico. Together, the six organizations serve 94,000 borrowers, 72 per cent of whom live in rural areas and 63 per cent of whom are women.
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