July 20, 2007 (LBO) – A Sri Lanka-German initiative to give microfinance to tsunami victims had more than doubled its original target helping more than 2000 small business people and creating 6000 new job opportunities, officials said. At present 1.9 billion rupees is outstanding on 15,331 projects. The bank says the scheme has mobilized over a billion rupees in deposits. Hatton National Bank had signed up with the Savings Bank Foundation for International Corporation (SBFIC) in Germany in August 2005 to assist tsunami hit families re-start their economic activities.
SBFIC represents the German savings banking system.
HNB’s ‘Gami Pubuduwa’ or village revival loan scheme, which has been running for 17 years, originally received two million euros from SBFIC for a two year project.
But HNB had disbursed the funds in a year.
We initially thought of two million Euros but now we were able to go up to five million Euros, project manager of the SBFIC Stefan Henkelmann told reporters in Colombo.
Apart from cash the German partners have also given technical support to HNB by training the staff in the field of micro-financing.
The project has given loans to 2,634 entrepreneurs amounting to 702 million