'Microcredit' projects help fight terrorism by addressing poverty

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2002

Perhaps the most desirable aid prosperous nations like the United States can provide the people of Third World nations is aid that helps lift them out of poverty.

One such effort with a track record of success has been various forms of ''microcredit,'' making small loans of a few hundred dollars or so to people in Third World countries to establish small community or neighborhood, grass-roots enterprises.

Over the last more than a decade, it's really been the U.S. Congress that has led the way in support for microenterprise and mandated the ''focusing on the very poor with this very effective tool,'' says Joanne Carter with Results, a grass-roots advocacy group with branches in the United States ... and five other nations.

Since 2000, she notes, lawmakers have approved $155 million for such microcredit projects. ...

U.S. Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Ind., explained that there is value in ''looking at ways to prevent terrorism in addressing some of the concerns of the world that grow from poverty and inequity and people surviving on less than a $1 a day.'' ...

-- Houston (Texas) Chronicle

March 16

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