4th European Microfinance Award "Microfinance for Food Security": award ceremony
End production: 15/11/2012 First transmission: 16/11/2012
As part of European Microfinance Week, held from 14 to 16 November 2012 in Luxembourg, the Philippine company Alay Sa Kaunlaran Inc. (ASKI) won the 4th European Microfinance Award in recognition of its efforts to support the Philippine agricultural sector. The award was presented to Rolando Victoria, CEO of ASKI, by Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, at the award ceremony held at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg on 15 November 2012. Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development, was unable to attend the ceremony, but sent a video message to the audience. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Marie-Josée Jacobs, Luxembourg Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, and Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Managing Director of the Grameen Bank and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, also gave speeches.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Opening statement by the moderator
||Speech (in ENGLISH) by Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), stating that this fourth edition of the European Microfinance Award is focusing on initiatives that represent breakthroughs in promoting food security; stating that the fight against hunger remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity; stating that in three years, as compared to 2000 levels, cutting the percentage of people suffering from hunger by half is the No. 1 Millennium Development Goal; stating that to achieve this objective, countries and the international community must intensify their efforts; stating that more needs to be invested in growth and employment so that those who are hungry have the means to feed themselves; stating that providing small-scale financial services to micro-entrepreneurs who would otherwise be unable to obtain a traditional bank loan is an important means of promoting economic development and helping people out of poverty; stating that microfinance helps to create jobs and meet local needs and gaps in the provision of financial services; stating that the EIB has longstanding experience in microfinance, both inside and outside the EU; speaking on the EIB initiatives in various regions of the world, notably the MicroMED programme; stating that the EIB is also a founding member of the European Microfinance Platform, which is trying to make financial inclusion a reality for the poor; stating that all the finalists of the European Microfinance Award have shown remarkable results in promoting microfinance to alleviate food shortages; stating that he hopes the 2012 winner will take this opportunity to use microfinance as an effective tool to promote financial inclusion and contribute to sustainable economic development.
||Statement (in FRENCH) by Marie-Josée Jacobs, Luxembourg Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, stating that the European Microfinance Award must serve as a springboard and contribute to bring about innovation; speaking on the winner of the 2010 award; speaking on the three finalists for the 2012 award, whose programmes, each in its own way, makes a contribution toward improving agricultural productivity and thus fighting against food hazards; stating that the beneficiaries of microfinance must remain a central concern, and that microfinance must remain first and foremost a source of funding and a development tool, and that the social aspects of microfinance - equity, justice and democracy - prevail; speaking on the public sector's role in microfinance; stating that it must support innovation and help create an environment that enables microfinance to continue developing; stating that this environment must be regulated, transparent and secure at all levels for the benefit of its recipients, stakeholders and investors.
||Video on the winner of the 2010 Award: Harbu microfinance, an Ethiopian institution that supports the creation of a network of community cereal banks
||Message (in FRENCH) from Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development, stating that the presentation of the European Microfinance Award is an opportunity to honour microfinance development; stating that the EU adopted its agenda for change to strengthen the impact of its development policy and to improve the cost/effectiveness ratio; therefore, the EU focuses on fewer countries and on a few clear priorities to ensure that European aid makes a real difference amongst the people who need it most; stating that inclusive and sustainable growth are at the heart of the priorities; stating that in this context, support for microfinance and for inclusive financial systems has its place and is part of the strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; stating that the European Commission is one of the main supporters of microfinance, and its intention is to do even more, as microfinance is a very practical tool for reducing poverty; stating that regarding food security, microfinance institutions should fund more initiatives for rural development and agricultural production; stating that financial services should enable the poor to increase and diversify their income and to improve their economic and social assets; stating that better access to financing for farmers and reflection on the value chain must be at the heart of development of agricultural finance; stating that the EU support can cover all aspects of the value chain, and in particular, partnerships between public and private operators.
||Presentation of the three finalists (introduction of moderator and videos): - Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), which supports the Philippine agricultural sector through its microcredit initiatives to improve food security, strengthen food distribution networks, increase yields and empower farming communities - Banco FIE (Banco para el Fomento Iniciativas Económicas SA), which supports food security in Bolivia through its exemplary action in the sustainable financing of the Bolivian agricultural community - Kompanion, which supports food security in Kyrgyzstan through major initiatives aimed at improving the livelihoods of local farmers and their communities.
||Statement (in ENGLISH) by Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Managing Director of Grameen Bank and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, stating that we must reinvent the entire structure of the financial world; stating the No. 1 goal should be to have inclusive financing, which excludes no one in society; stating that this competition is an example of how this can be done; outlining examples of microfinancing initiatives with the Grameen Bank; stating that human creativity, with the support of technology, can be extremely powerful; stating that thanks to technology, today's younger generation is the strongest the world has ever known; stating that today, the gap between the impossible and possible is diminishing; stating that by working toward this, one can create a totally different world, and microfinance is part of the solution.
||Announcement of the winner - Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI) from the Philippines - by Muhammad Yunus and presentation of the award by Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
||Statement (in ENGLISH) by Rolando Victoria, CEO of ASKI, thanking the organisers; stating that the award represents a new challenge for ASKI to ensure that it is faithful to its mission of serving the poor and providing them with the best possible service, as well as a source of inspiration.