Research commissioned by the Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA) and carried out by the M-CRIL ratings agency signals a retreat from the claim that there is a verifiable connection between microfinance lending and poverty reduction.
The availability of microfinance loans, or microcredit, is “a necessary but not a sufficient condition” for reducing poverty, Sanjay Sinha, managing director of India-based M-CRIL, said at the presentation of findings in Phnom Penh on January 19. Cambodia’s rapid economic growth, he said, is the main reason why poverty has been reduced.
The CMA has clearly been working hard to control the content and presentation of the research. Sinha told me a year ago that he aimed to publish it around March 2023, the date at which the research was completed.