ASKI - PHILIPPINES

Award Winner ASKI was created in 1986 in the year of the ‘EDSA people power revolution’, after a series of popular demonstrations contesting the difficult living conditions experienced by the population, levels of poverty and unemployment.

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Background of the European Microfinance Award

Convinced that microfinance is an important tool for poverty alleviation, the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Directorate for Development Cooperation announced the creation of the European Microfinance Award during the closing of the Microfinance Week, Luxembourg on 19th October 2005.

The European Microfinance Award is organised jointly every two years, by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Directorate for Development Cooperation, the Luxembourg Round Table on Microfinance and the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) to promote microfinance initiatives and highlight their contribution to the development of the sector.

The objective of the 1st European Microfinance Award “Innovation for Outreach” in 2006, was to highlight and stimulate microfinance initiatives that represented breakthroughs in deepening or broadening rural outreach. The Zakoura Foundation in Morocco was rewarded for its programme on rural tourism. In 2008, the focus of the 2nd European Microfinance Award was on “Socially Responsible Microfinance” and initiatives that represented breakthroughs in promoting social performance in microfinance. Buusaa Gonofaa from Ethiopia won the award for the development of its client assessment system. In 2010, the aim of the 3rd European Microfinance Award “Value Chain Finance” was to highlight and stimulate microfinance initiatives promoting productive value chain schemes. The winner was Harbu from Ethiopia for its initiative financing a soybean value chain.

In 2012, the 4th European Microfinance Award has identified the issue of “Microfinance for Food Security” and focuses on microfinance initiatives which contribute to improving food production and distribution conditions in developing countries.

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4th European Microfinance Award on Microfinance for Food Security

The definition of food security, which first originated in the World Food Conference in 1974, has varied considerably over the last 38 years and stakeholders still debate specific terminology. For the purpose of this Award the following définition of food security has been adopted:

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

Food security is a broad issue, too broad to be effectively achieved by a single set of specific interventions. The issues of Food Security must be tackled comprehensively. Therefore, to address such a complex issue, microfinance can contribute only if coupled with other services. Strategic alliances and partnerships with meaningful actors have been seen to enhance the provision of diversified technical assistance, market linkage support or market access.

The objective of the 4th European Microfinance Award “Microfinance for Food Security” is to highlight and stimulate such initiatives and partnerships that represent breakthroughs in promoting food security.