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Considering various types of finance schemes, this text compares the effectiveness of various approaches in aiding poverty reduction. The provision of credit and other financial services has become increasingly seen as the answer to the problem facing poor people. Microfinance interventions have the capacity to increase incomes, contribute to individual and household security, and change social relations for the better. However, it may not be assumed, argue the authors, that they will do so and it may often be more effective in terms of poverty reduction to combine credit provision with other development activities. The book emphasizes the importance of first studying the local context, and then considering the macro-economic factors which may be operating upon the economy of a particular country.

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