IHG Creates Unique Partnership to Alleviate Poverty and Protect the Environment
Dallas, United States, October, 22 2007 -
IHG's (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG; NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] Americas region is partnering with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) by making micro-enterprise loans available to small farmers in rural Costa Rica.
Portions of IHG's initial $10,000 gift to CATIE are enabling the Fuentes-Gamboa family to enhance operations at their organic coffee and sugar cane farm in Turrialba, some 30 miles from Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose. The family of 10 is now able to earn a living wage from the farm.
"Protecting our fragile environment and creating better livelihoods for rural families are compatible goals, as IHG has demonstrated with this unique micro-financing program," said Dr. Pedro Ferreira, Director General of CATIE.
"We are delighted to join with CATIE in this effort. CATIE shares our belief in empowering local people economically while protecting the environment," said Vicki Gordon, IHG's senior vice president for corporate affairs.
As the loan is repaid over time, the revolving funds will continue to enable other qualified loan applicants to benefit from IHG's gift. Micro-lending is a part of the efforts of IHG and CATIE to alleviate poverty, while also encouraging environmentally friendly agricultural practices. This is the third such loan funded by IHG in support of micro-finance. IHG has also funded two village banks in Mexico, which provide access to business loans for women, and has made a commitment for another in 2008.