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September 4, 2006
SKS Microfinance LaunchesSKS Microfinance Participates in National Disaster Management Authority Workshop
Delhi, India � Five representatives from SKS Microfinance participated in a government sponsored National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Workshop in Delhi. Led by NDMA head and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), Mr. Shashidar Reddy, the NDMA conference aimed to foster coordination, support and network efforts amongst government representatives, microfinance organizations, non-governmental organizations and private entities in the realm of disaster management.

Following an introductory presentation by Mr. Reddy, speakers from the Dhan Foundation, the Indian School of Business, CARE India and the National Insurance Academy, Pune presented viewpoints on how best to cope with disaster. The conference ended with working groups sharing methods for interventions in preparation, mitigation and relief efforts.

The role of microfinance in disaster relief was highlighted. Microfinance institutions (MFIs), as providers of financial services to those communities most affected by disaster, the rural poor, have the unique ability to play a role in all three areas of disaster management: pre-disaster, post-disaster, and relief. MFIs can educate affected communities, assess affected areas, provide emergency loans, and assist in relief efforts by restructuring loans and serving as a channel for the provision of subsidized long-term loans for infrastructure development � along with many other initiatives.

NDMA Participant and SKS Lead Manager of Members Services, Lokesh Kumar Singh, remarked, �It was a great learning experience to be in the company of such eminent people. This meeting was a first step towards a mutually beneficial and impacting alliance between the microfinance industry and others who play a role in the field of disaster management.�

It�s estimated that between 1990 and 2005, disasters in India affected approximately 30 million lives and resulted in economic losses of Rs. 176,000 crores ($40 billion).

About the National Disaster Management Authority

The NDMA lays down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management in India to be followed by Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and any state authority in drawing up the State Plan. The Authority coordinates the enforcement and implementation of the policies and plans for disaster management and arranges for, and oversees the provision of funds for mitigation measures, preparedness and response. The NDMA may also frame guidelines for minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by disaster and give directions regarding relief in loan repayment or grant fresh loans on relaxed terms.

The National Disaster Management Authority is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs.


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