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Blueprint blues

The Cambodian Community Finance Network and the Canadian Cooperative Association

have criticized the government's draft Financial Sector Blueprint 2006-15, released

in August.

They say the draft misses a major opportunity to strengthen village economies through

community finance, because it declares the commercial banking sector to be the only

reliable source of community microfinance, sidelining local savings options,

The two groups say many rural Cambodians save at home because they are intimidated

by the commercial banking sector's microfinancing delivery channels.

Their research suggests that about US$60 million a year is lost by rural households

saving money at home, due to factors such as water and insect damage of cash and

jewellery and loss of livestock.

The release says promotion of village-level microfinancing would make structured

saving more accessible to rural people, helping to rescue them from the poverty trap.

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