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Microfinance support for 26 million women in developing countries::

Australia will help millions of women in developing countries to achieve economic independence through microfinance funding.

At the APEC Women and the Economy Summit, chaired by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in San Francisco, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd committed $2.2 million to help women start and expand their own small businesses.

“Microfinance is an important funding source for women who run up to 40 per cent of small businesses worldwide but only access around 10 per cent of commercial bank loans,” Mr Rudd said.

“This money will help microfinance institutions provide loans to more than 26 million women by the end of 2013. That’s 26 million women who will be able to establish their own business, send their children to school and improve their standard of living.”

This is truly effective aid – supporting 26 million women and their families through a grant of only $2.2 million.

Mr Rudd attended the Summit accompanied by a senior delegation of Australian women - Australia’s newly appointed Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams, the CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Ms Leah Armstrong, and CNBC Anchor, Amanda Drury.

17 Sept. 2011