Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (10/08/2002)

Amends the Microenterprise for Self-Reliance Act of 2000 to make as one of its purposes that in implementation of this Act at least 50 percent of all microenterprise assistance be targeted to the very poor, that is, those persons living either in the bottom 50 percent below the poverty line or on less than the equivalent of one dollar per day.

(Sec. 2) Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to revise congressional findings and policy with respect to the micro- and small enterprise development credits program to declare that it is in the best interests of the United States to assist the access to financial services and the development of microenterprises in developing countries, and to engage the U.S. private sector in such process. Authorizes the President to provide assistance to increase the availability of financial services (not just credit) to microenterprise households lacking full access to credit, including through: (1) loans and guarantees to microfinance institutions for the purpose of expanding the availability of savings and credit to poor and low-income households; (2) training programs to enable microfinance institutions to better meet the financial services needs of their clients; and (3) training programs to enable clients to make better use of credit, increase their financial literacy, and to better manage their enterprises.

Revises program eligibility criteria to require the Administrator of the agency primarily responsible for administering such program to establish criteria for determining which microfinance institutions are eligible to carry out program activities with respect to microenterprise households assisted under this Act. Limits the use of such assistance to support programs for microenterprise households.

Authorizes appropriations through FY 2004.

(Sec. 3) Revises congressional findings and policy with respect to the microenterprise development grant assistance program to declare that: (1) access to financial services and the development of microenterprise are vital factors in the stable growth of developing countries, and therefore it is in the best interest of the United States to facilitate access to financial services and assist the development of microenterprise in developing countries; (2) access to such services and the development of microenterprises can be supported by programs providing credit, savings, training, technical assistance, business development services, and other financial and non-financial services; and (3) microenterprise programs should target both rural and urban poor given the high percentage of population living, and incidence of poverty, in such areas.

Urges the President to continue support for central mechanisms and missions that, among other things, support the development of nonprofit global microfinance networks, including credit union systems, that are able to deliver financial services to poor entrepreneurs through a significant grassroots infrastructure based on market principles, and act as wholesale intermediaries providing a range of services to microenterprise retail institutions.

Declares that, in order to maximize the sustainable development impact of microenterprise development grant assistance, the Administrator of the agency primarily responsible for administering such assistance shall establish a monitoring system that, among other things, adopts the widespread use of proven and effective poverty assessment tools to successfully identify the very poor and ensure that they receive needed microenterprise loans, savings, and assistance. Requires the Administrator of AID to develop and certify no fewer than two low-cost methods for partner institutions to use to assess the poverty levels of their current or prospective clients for purposes of the provision of microenterprise development grant assistance. Directs the Administrator of AID to require all organizations applying for microenterprise assistance under this Act to use one of the certified methods to determine and report the poverty levels of such clients and to demonstrate their ability to reach the very poor.

Authorizes appropriations through FY 2004.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Administrator of AID to submit to Congress a report that documents the process of developing and applying poverty assessment procedures with its partners.

Directs the Administrator of AID to submit annually to Congress a report that addresses AID's compliance with the Microenterprise for Self-Reliance Act of 2000 by documenting: (1) the percentage of its resources that were allocated to the very poor based on data collected from its partners using the certified methods; and (2) the absolute number of the very poor reached.