Today's date:
Winter 2000

A Market Solution to Poverty: Microfinance and the Internet

Jacques Attali, the founding president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Finance and a regular contributor to NPQ, is president of PlaNet Finance. The board of PlaNet Finance, includes, among others, Abdou Daouf, President of Senegal; Michel David-Weill, senior partner of Lazard Freres; Michel Rocard, Minister of Employment and Social Affairsof the European Commission; Rene Thomas, honorary chaiman of the Banque Nationale de Paris, and Mohammed Yunus, founder and president of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. Its partners include Oracle, Netscape, and Club Internet, the main French Internet Service Provider.

Paris - Development has failed. Inequality is growing. Two billion out of 6 live with less that $2 a day and in 30 years, they will be 4 billion out of 8. Children are affected the most: 650 million children live on less than $1 a day. Next year, there will be 120 million orpahned or abandoned children. Two million children under 5 years of age die each year; 160 million children are malnourished; more than 250 million children are working. Yet the three richest people in the world own assets that exceed the combined GDP of the planet's poorest 48 countries. The asses of the richest 88 equal China's GDP.

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