Kathmandu, December 18:

With an increase in a number of micro finance institutions, poor families’ access to micro-loans has increased significantly in recent years and the number of beneficiaries has crossed 900,000 in Nepal.

The number of beneficiary families is nearly half of the population living below the poverty line in the country, according to a report of the Microcredit Summit Campaign.

More than 133 million of the world’s poorest people — 60 per cent of them women — received micro loans in 2006 to start or expand micro businesses, according to a report, ‘State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2007’, which is prepared with data gathered from more than 3,316 institutions worldwide. In total, the institutions reported the number of beneficiaries soared to more than 133 million clients, with 93 million individuals falling into the campaign’s focus poorest clients, from 13 million nine years ago. The focus group of clients has been identified those people living below $1-a-day.

In Nepal, Rural Microfinance Development Centre Ltd (RMDC), an apex wholesale agency for microfinance, released the report. RMDC has disbursed $31.8 million till now.