In disaster situations such as that faced by Pakistan today, aid provided by Governments and public appeals gets to people who need it fast.
But how effective is aid for long term development and in addressing the underlying causes of poverty? How do we avoid money transferred to governments of poorer countries being diverted or lost in bureaucracy?
As Conservatives, we believe that one of most effective ways to help citizens of poorer countries to pull themselves out of poverty is to help local entrepreneurs who will create wealth and jobs for their fellow citizens. Kiva is an organisation which helps individuals in the developed world to offer small amounts of capital in the form of loans to entrepreneurs in less developed countries.
With this in mind, the Conservative Party Kiva lending team was set up in 2008 and has so far contributed over $3,000 in loans to entrepreneurs. The 100 loans given by the team have gone to recipients including: Natukunda Winnie, a 32-year-old married mother of three who runs a general store in Ntungamo, Uganda; Unenbat Baavan, a 35 year Mongolian nomad in Uvurhangai province who took out a loan to start a carpentry business to support his wife and two children; and Mariana Del Jesus Arteaga Meza who sells mobile phone calling cards in Portoviejo, Ecuador.
Please come and sow the seeds of free enterprise across the globe by joining here.
Syed Kamall is a Conservative MEP for London and set up the Conservative Party Kiva lending team.