Status Update: April 21, 2009

Mekong Plus’s partnership status is now closed. Mekong Plus originally partnered with KIVA to expand its lending program, which currently covers over 5,000 households. While Mekong Plus has been an excellent Kiva partner for the past 2 years, Mekong Plus recently decided to end its partnership with Kiva.

Given that each Kiva loan requires a photograph and business description, Mekong Plus determined that the cost for utilizing Kiva was simply too high due to its emphasis on small-size loans. Mekong Plus estimated that each loan posted to Kiva required, on average, 3-hours of field staff time to collect and process. Ultimately, the organization feels that this time would be better spent by its field staff providing technical assistance to its borrowers.

Also, when Kiva first launched, the default settings for loans raised through the site was monthly repayments. However, the majority of Mekong Plus’s posted loans were repaid after 5 months in one installment at the end of the loan term. While MFI partners had the ability to manually report repayments, for many of Kiva’s first partners – including Mekong Plus – this option often was too difficult and time-consuming to implement. Kiva has since addressed this issue by launching a new system for its MFI partners in November 2008 that removes the monthly repayment default setting and allows MFI partners to report the actual repayment schedule of a loan.

Finally, there has been confusion about the delinquency statistic shown on the website. Because of transaction costs, Kiva does not require Kiva partners to remit payments of less than $1,000. This was the case with Mekong Plus. However, the non-payment of any amount due has an impact on the delinquency rate since lenders are not getting repaid. Under normal circumstances, the funding of new loans in the next billing period would allow lenders to be repaid, since funds raised by Kiva are first applied to any outstanding balance due from a Kiva partner. In this case, Mekong Plus stopped posting new loans, but maintained an outstanding balance owed to Kiva of less than $1,000. This led to reported delinquency rates of up to 88%, which is not representative of Mekong Plus’s actual collection experience with its borrower. Going forward, Kiva will modify its policies to make certain that this does not happen again.

**End Update**

Mekong Plus is an NGO of European origin that was registered in Vietnam in 1994, and has been working in Cambodia since 2004. Mainly focusing on community development and individual participation in the community development process, Mekong Plus works together with the ultra poor to create a more equal and sustainable world.

Mekong Plus believes in low cost, long-term solutions to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. All projects are both proposed locally, they are thus very diverse but always with a strong community participation, and have great potential to achieve powerful social change in the communities they serve.

Mekong Plus is involved in micro credit (women's groups), agriculture extension promoting the best practices (less chemicals, more profit), the promotion of preventive health and hygiene, action theatre, active pedagogy in schools, waste recycling and production of compost, employment generation through handicraft sales (www.vietnam-quilts.org), credit support and small local infrastructure (roads and bridges). A growing program is also focusing on the ultra poor (around $100/year income), and another works to make sure all children are at school (it is virtually impossible to get out of deep poverty without a secondary education certificate).

In addition, Mekong Plus is involved in helping to resolve urgent and serious health problems, ensure minimum housing conditions and administer micro credit and intensive technical support to entrepreneurs in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Mekong Plus believes no one can pretend to meet the huge challenges posed by poverty on its own, and certainly not a small NGO. As an organization it thus takes responsibility to not only act on, but also to report and inform sympathizers, donors and the general public about the living conditions of the poor in Cambodia and Vietnam. Mekong Plus hopes that by sharing their stories with the greater world community, individuals from across the globe will join together to help alleviate poverty and support the enterprising individuals and communities of the two countries Mekong Plus serves.

Mekong Plus is constantly looking for financial support. Today for the waste recycling program which produces compost for the local farmers; for assisting remote villages to build small bridges and roads to connect their village to the local market, the school and the clinic. Please visit www.mekongplus.org for details, stories, videos etc. To learn more about their microcredit programs, watch this video. To learn more about Mekong Plus' other programs, watch this video Mekong Plus can be reached via email at bkervyn@pmail.vnn.vn.


Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Mar 6, 2007 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $27,775 $603,625,750
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $517,700
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 449
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $118,998,550
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 128,322
Amount of Ended Loans $27,775 $484,109,500
Number of Ended Loans 379 612,037
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 4.17%
Amount in Arrears $0 $3,223,190
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $77,262,633
Number of loanDelinquent 0 14,115
Default Rate 0.00% 1.11%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $5,357,808
Amount of Ended Loans $27,775 $484,109,500
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 16,820
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.09%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $572,886
Refund Rate 1.35% 0.75%
Amount of Refunded Loans $375 $4,553,925
Number of Refunded Loans 4 5,085

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 81.46% 74.22%
Average Loan Size $74 $419
Average Individual Loan Size $74 $656
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,830
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $725 $3,424
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 10.14% 12.23%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 0.04 days 5.69 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $1,667.65 $73.56
  Average Loan Term 6.36 months 10.4 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 444 301,614
  Journaling Rate 74.14% 42.41%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.49 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 8.04 1.84

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower N/A 22.00% PY 33.19% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 7.2% -1.44%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 11.00% 40.64%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Bernard Kervyn
Tuu Le Tan
Duoc Nguyen Van
Than Nguyen Van
Thanh Tai Dai