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The Hope of Microcredit

The Problem:

1.2 million people struggle to survive on $1/day or less.  They have no access to credit and little hope for a better future.


A Solution:

Microcredit is small loans ($100 or less) to the very poor to start or grow small businesses. The money they earn enables them to:

-         feed and clothe their families

-         put a roof over their heads

-         enroll their children in school

-         pull themselves out of poverty


RESULTS Actions:

In 1997 RESULTS convened the Microcredit Summit which was attended by 2900 people from 137 countries.  The Microcredit Summit reported that it met the ambitious goal to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families with small loans soon after its target of the end of 2005. 


RESULTS has lobbied for increased funding for microcredit and the US is the leader in funding for microcredit.


In 2004 Texas Representatives Bell, Doggett, Edwards, Frost, Green, Lampson, Smith, and Jackson Lee were among the co-sponsors of the "Microcredit Results and Accountability Act" which was signed into law calling for:

-         targeting half of microcredit funds to those living on $1/day

-         implementing low-cost poverty measurement tools

-         establishing an office in the USAID to oversee the funds


At RESULTS’ request, US senators, including Texas Senator John Cornyn, sent a letter to the World Bank requesting they invest a greater percent of their budget in microcredit programs.



The Hope of DOTS


The Problem:

1.3 million people die of tuberculosis and another 9 million become sick with active TB every year.  One third of the world is infected with the TB bacterium.  TB is the leading cause of death among people who are HIV-positive.

A Solution:

$15 worth of drugs can cure most cases of TB.  Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) ensures a steady supply of drugs so that patients can take a full six-month course to eradicate the TB completely. 


In the last five years, India’s DOTS program has trained 600,0000 health care workers who have reached 80% of the population and treated 4 million people.  Cure rates have increased from 30% to 84%.


RESULTS Actions:


RESULTS has lobbied for increased funding for tuberculosis. 

1997 - $1 million

1999 - $15 million

2000 - $23 million

2001 - $60 million

2002 - $75 million

2003 - $80 million

2004 - $85 million

2005 - $90 million

2006 - $92 million

2007 - $92 million

2008 - $162 million
2009 - $162 million
2010 - $225 million
2011 - $225 million
2012-2015 - $236 million


RESULTS lobbies for funding for the Global TB Drug Facility to ensure a steady supply of low-cost drugs to effective programs worldwide.


In 2001 Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced an amendment calling for a funding increase of $10 million since exposure to TB is a military preparedness issue for our service men and women overseas.


In March 2005 for World TB Day, Texas RESULTS partners generated 22 media pieces bringing attention to the issues of tuberculosis.


The Hope of Child Survival Programs


The Problem:

18,000 children die every day from preventable diseases and malnutrition…  diseases such as measles, diarrheal disease and pneumonia. Countries with high child death rates are also those with high population growth. As parents are able to keep their children alive, they have smaller families.


A Solution:

A 26¢ vaccination prevents measles. 

Oral rehydration salts revive children dehydrated from diarrhea.

Low-cost antibiotics cure respiratory infections.

Micronutrients and vitamins combat blindness and mental retardation.


RESULTS Actions:


RESULTS has lobbied for increased funding for Child Survival and Maternal Health programs and for UNICEF.


Child Survival funding               Under age 5 deaths/year

1985 -   $25 million                 

1987 -   $75 million                       16.6 million

1989 - $100 million                       14.9 million

1991 - $225 million                       14.4 million

1993 - $275 million                       13.2 million

1995 - $280 million                       12.5 million

1997 - $300 million                        11.6 million

1999 - $300 million                        10.6 million

2000 - $310 million                        10.5 million

2001 - $325 million                        10.6 million

2002 - $340 million                        10.6 million

2003 - $350 million                        10.6 million

2004 - $358 million                        10.5 million

2005 - $375 million                        10.1 million

2006 - $360 million                        9.7 million

2007 - $360 million                        9.2 million

2008 - $446.5 million                     8.8 million
2009 - $495 million                        8.1 million
2010 - $474 million                        7.6 million
2011 - $474 million                        6.9 million
2012 - $606 million                        6.6 million
2013 - $627 million                        6.3 million
2014 - $705 million                        5.9 million
2015 - $715 million


The Hope of Basic Education


The Problem:

57 million primary school aged children, mostly girls, are not in school.  An additional 225 million adolescents will never attend secondary or high school.   School fees are the biggest barrier preventing poor children from attending school.  Inability to pay school fees in Africa is the number one reason families do not adopt AIDS orphans.


A Solution:

Elimination of school fees would allow millions of children to attend school.

For girls, every year of education beyond grade 3 results in

-         20% higher wages over her lifetime

-         10% reduction in birth rates

-         10% fewer child deaths


RESULTS Actions:

RESULTS has advocated for increased funding for basic education.

1999 - $98 million

2000 - $98 million

2001 - $103 million

2002 - $165 million

2003 - $218 million

2004 - $325 million

2005 - $400 million

2006 - $465 million

2007 - $465 million

2008 - $694 million
2009 - $700 million
2010 - $925 million
2011 - $925 million
2012-2015 - $800 million



In 2004 RESULTS successfully advocated for a $15 million pilot program to help eliminate school fees in developing countries.  USAID was going to do a study.  RESULTS pressed members of Congress to ask USAID to use the money to actually eliminate fees in one or two countries.  USAID called on RESULTS to help form a plan.


In 2005 the House and Senate passed the "Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005".  It calls for assistance for school fees for AIDS orphans.  This bill was co-sponsored by Texas Representatives Doggett, Al Green, Gene Green, Jackson-Lee, Johnson and Gonzalez.


Eloise's Transformation

Eloise Sutherland joined the Austin RESULTS group in the 90s. Through her Just Faith group at church she had learned about poverty around the world and was introduced to RESULTS from a partner who belonged to that group. She had trouble grasping that 35,000 children die every day of preventable diseases and really doubted that it could be changed but felt compelled to do her part, driven by God, to try to make a difference. One step at a time... writing a letter to the editor, calling the office of her representative, talking to her friends... she began to find her voice.

When RESULTS started tackling TB, Eloise had no idea it was a large problem.  Her son had been diagnosed with TB fairly recently and had been cured so she knew things could be done. While seeking information on TB in Texas she was invited to become involved with the Texas TB Coalition. There she established valuable relationships with TB controllers. They looked to her for advice on effective lobbying.

In 2004 she asked the head of the Texas Department of Health to write an op-ed for World TB Day.  Dr. Eduardo Sanchez did and it was published in a few papers around the state.  In 2005 she asked again.  Instead of an op-ed, they prepared a press release on tuberculosis and sent it to newspapers and TV & radio stations.  Also Eloise headed up a statewide teleconference on TB.  She and David Schubert from the Houston RESULTS group lined up 2 great doctors.  Dr. Mark Kline from Houston has set up AIDS clinics around the world and so is familiar with the connection of those diseases.  Dr.
Fernando Gonzalez from El Paso has worked with TB along the Texas-Mexico border.  Eloise provided information on the teleconference to her TB controller friends and encouraged RESULTS partners from around Texas to contact the media to be on the call. She was interviewed by the local NPR station.  That article and 21 other media pieces were published as a result.  22 pieces!

Mark Coats from the Austin RESULTS group sent some of the media to freshman Representative Michael McCaul and asked him to sign on to a TB funding letter to the Foreign Operations Appropriations chairman.  Much to our surprise McCaul's office tried to sign on but signals got crossed so instead his aid decided to write a letter to chairman Jim Kolbe and ranking member Nita Lowey asking for $300 million in TB funding... His first action at our request and a bold one it was.

So not only has Eloise experienced a grand transformation, but this conservative representative from Texas probably never imagined he'd be taking action on global TB.

Update from our lobbying day 7/12/2005: Representative McCaul dropped into the meeting.  He said that he was concerned about these issues and as a member of the International Relations committee, he wanted to be a sponsor on some legislation on our issues so he could help push it through committee.  He transformed all our expectations of him and has Eloise walking in the clouds.

Eloise receives award from Dr. Eduardo Sanchez

Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services

Mark's Anecdote: Asking a Nobel winner to comment upon another Nobel prize winner

On Sunday 10/292006 Mark went to the Texas Book Festival.  It's kind of a big deal, featuring Gore Vidal and Barack Obama this year.  He didn't get to see them, but did go to a session with Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winner in economics.  Sitting in the House Chamber of the Texas capitol with 170 people, he listened to Stiglitz discuss his new book, "Making Globalization Work".

At the end Mark jumped up and was third in line to ask a question.  He reminded those listening that two weeks earlier Muhammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace prize for their work in "microcredit, also known as village banking".  Stating that 100 million families had been reached with microcredit, he asked Stiglitz what he thought about microcredit and how it related to globalization.

Professor Stiglitz lit up and related how he'd been to visit Yunus in Bangladesh and how impressed he was with their work.  He illustrated their innovation  by describing how a woman taking out a home building loan was required to have her husband transfer the land title into her name.  Then if the husband said "I divorce you" three times, it was he who had to leave, not her!  Stiglitz also connected globalization's spread of knowledge to the spread of the practice of microcredit.

When Mark left home that morning he had no plan to speak in front of 170 people or to ask a Nobel winner to comment upon another Nobel prize winner.  However, when he was presented with the opportunity, he said "Yes" and took it.