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Microfinance for sanitation [Updated by: Catarina Fonseca in 2006; Quality Assurance: John Butterworth and Jim Doherty]

Author(s): Saywell, Darren  |  Fonseca, Catarina  |  Butterworth, John  |  Doherty, Jim

Publisher: WEDC
Place of publication: Loughborough University, UK
Year: 2006

Series: WELL Fact Sheet
Collection(s): WELL


Micro credit and microfinance are being developed as strategies for infrastructure development, poverty alleviation and income generation. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of microfinance for sanitation.

The success of the microfinance approach in supporting informal micro-enterprises in poor countries has led to it being considered in other areas of development. For example, the use of microfinance intermediaries to supply the credit needed to implement water and sanitation services has become a promising approach to improving service coverage in low income urban, peri-urban and rural communities.

This review examines the progress being made to develop microfinance mechanisms to support sanitation initiatives. It identifies some key factors in the failure and success of these initiatives using examples from around the world.

For additional information on key concepts concerning microfinance, readers are advised to consult the WELL Factsheet on microfinance for water supply services, and the WELL Briefing Note 16 on local financing mechanisms for water.

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