Third-World Dispatch

Is Microfinance a Menace?

Microfinance is the hottest thing in global development, but Sebastain Strangio, writing for The New Republic from Bangladesh, says it's having unintended consequences. "While such micro-loan programs have been widely touted as a ladder out of poverty, they had become a crushing burden for many in Joypurhat, who spoke to me of entangling webs of debt and the aggressive tactics of NGO debt collectors." Poor farmers become so desperate to pay back their debts, they'll even give their organs away to predatory collectors.