FinDev Guide

COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update #1

A roundup of the most relevant coronavirus-related resources for the microfinance and financial inclusion community
FinDev Weekly Update. Photo: World Bank.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the biggest story on the planet right now. Everyday, hundreds of news articles, emails and text messages flood the internet and our inboxes with discussions about how the virus is reshaping lives, advice on prevention and response, predictions on public health and economic impacts, and so much more. It can feel like information overload at times.

Our COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update aims to help with this deluge of information by curating the most relevant resources for the financial inclusion and microfinance sector. We hope that by making research, data, and lessons from past experiences available all in one place we can facilitate research and informed decision-making.

While we are scanning daily for relevant news and resources, we also rely on you, our users, to share your work. The process is simple and you don't need to create an account. We will review your submission and let you know when it's published. Submit content >>

If you have content to share that does not fit the FinDev criteria for publication on our platform, but you wish to include it in our Weekly Update, please contact us.

For the latest news, publications, data and events, visit our FinDev COVID-19 Resource Hub for Microfinance and Financial Inclusion. Also, FinDev's regional platforms offer resources in Spanish, French, and Arabic relevant for the financial inclusion community in LAC, Africa, and the Arab world.


Resources on FinDev Gateway and CGAP

FinDev Guide to Data - Tracking the Global Response to COVID-19
FinDev Guide | 28 Mar 2020 | FinDev Gateway

COVID-19: How Is the Pandemic Affecting Your Work and the Clients You Serve?
FinDev Discussion | 18 Mar 2020 | FinDev Gateway  

COVID-19 & Inclusive Finance: Lessons From Past Crises
CGAP Collection | 25 Mar 2020 | CGAP 

Recent Publications

For a complete list of publications and to learn how you can share your research with us, visit FinDev's Publications page.

Managing Through the COVID-19 Pandemic: How Financial Firms are Responding
Institute of International Finance | Mar 2020

The focus of this IIF paper is on how the financial services industry has been responding to date to the pandemic, with an emphasis on the role of business continuity plans. 

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance for Financial Service Providers
Accion | Mar 2020

Findings from Accion's interviews with partners on how COVID-19 is impacting the financial industry and recommendations for senior leaders to protect their customers, employees, and business operations. 

Savings Group Risk Mitigation, Support, and Engagement in Relation to COVID-19
CARE | Mar 2020

A guide to help implementers consider how best to support savings groups and their members during this crisis.  The recommendations here draw on past experience working with savings groups during times of crises including conflict, natural disasters and epidemics like Ebola.  

Gender Implications of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Development and Humanitarian Settings
CARE | Mar 2020

This brief by CARE considers the potential impact of the global pandemic on health, food security and nutrition, and the economic well-being of women and girls.

Blogs & Opinion

If you have a blog idea and would like to write for the FinDev Blog, please see our review our guidelines. We do not cross-post blogs that have been published elsewhere, but if you would like to share an existing blog post in our next FinDev Weekly Update, you can send it to us using our contact form.

Pandemics and Natural Disasters: What Can We Learn from Past Disasters to Help with Today’s Pandemic?

COVID-19: How Does Microfinance Weather the Coming Storm?

How the PAYGo Solar Sector Can Prepare for the Coronavirus and Keep the Lights on

Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Push Africa’s Mobile Money Markets to the Next Level?

Africa Turns to Mobile Payments as a Tool to Curb COVID-19

Resources for MFIs and Investors: What We’ve Learned from Past Shocks and Crises

Coronavirus, Economic Meltdown And The World of Impact: Insights From Allie Burns of Village Capital

Virus Lockdown is a $28 Billion Gig-Loan Buster

Can Financial Inclusion Moderate Impacts of Coronavirus?

How COVID-19 Could Be Like the Global Financial Crisis (Or Worse)

Now More Than Eever We Need Fintechs to Lead on Consumer Transparency

The Markets are Collapsing: Will Microfinance Save Us Again?

How Will COVID-19 Affect Women and Girls in Low- and Middle-Income Countries?

Coronavirus Will Be Even Worse For Low-Income People And Businesses, But Fintechs Can Help

COVID-19: The Gendered Impacts of the Outbreak


For a complete list of news and to learn how you can share news with us, visit FinDev's News page, which is updated daily.

Haiti's Largest Microfinance Institution Leverages Massive Network to Administer COVID-19 Training to Community Health Entrepreneurs Across Country
26 Mar 2020 | PRNewswire | With branches located in virtually every region in Haiti, Fonkoze is leveraging its large network to administer sanitation, water purification and other training to its 900+ staff and nearly 1,400 trained Community Health Entrepreneurs (CHEs) across the country.

Fintech Firms Say New Tech Could Speed Recovery From COVID-19
24 Mar 2020 | Roll Call | Financial technology companies are working to improve behind-the-scenes market functions, such as exchanging securities and making lending decisions, saying the use of new technologies could help markets recover faster than they did in past financial crises.

Covid-19 Impact: Lenders Stop Physical Loan Collections Amid National Lockdown 
Bloomberg Quint | With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing a 21-day national lockdown on Tuesday to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus, lenders have now put some of their retail loan collections on hold.

Whole Planet Foundation and Its Partners Respond to COVID-19
25 March 2020 | The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire | How microfinance is responding to this coronavirus, and its impact on the microentrepreneurs the Whole Planet Foundation supports through its network of partners on the ground.

Tech Lenders Push for a Piece of the Coronavirus, Small-business Bailout
CNBC | Fintech companies argue their tech-focused underwriting approach could get funds into the hands of small businesses faster than commercial banks. But there are regulatory roadblocks to letting non-banks distribute government aid.

Mexican Startup Credijusto Raises $100 Million, Seeks to Boost Loans Amid Coronavirus
The New York Times | Mexican fintech startup Credijusto has raised $100 million in debt from Credit Suisse Group, a move that will help it extend more loans to small and mid-sized businesses as banks gauge how to respond to the impact of coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Bank of Ghana Issues Directive to All Financial Institutions to Take Steps to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
16 March | Pulse | All financial institutions must ensure that all banking equipment used by clients are sanitized on a regular basis and the frontline staff are provided with protective equipment and gears such as gloves, face masks among others.

Citi Foundation to Provide $15 Million to Support COVID-19 Related Relief Efforts Globally
Citi Foundation | Funds donated by the Citi Foundation will provide protective equipment for frontline health workers, equip diagnostic laboratories, improve surveillance and data collection, establish and maintain intensive care units and take other critical steps to scale up the urgent public health response to the pandemic around the world.

No Interest or Repayments for Six Months on Microfinance Ireland’s Covid-19 Loans
March 20 | Irish Times | There will be an option for a six-month moratorium on interest and repayments under the new Microfinance Ireland Covid-19 loan scheme. Micro enterprises, which are sole traders and limited companies with fewer than 10 employees, affected by Covid-19 are urged to apply for the loan to ease their cashflow problems.

IFC Increases COVID-19 Support to $8 Billion to Sustain Private Sector Companies and Livelihoods in Developing Countries
International Finance Corporation (IFC) | The bulk of the IFC financing will go to client financial institutions to enable them to continue to offer trade financing, working-capital support and medium-term financing to private companies struggling with disruptions in supply chains.

Kenya Turns to Safaricom's M-Pesa Mobile-Money to Stem the Spread of COVID-19
TechCrunch | Safaricom announced that all person-to-person (P2P) transactions under KSH 1,000 (≈ $10) would be free starting Tuesday for the next 90 days.

Nigeria: CBN Unveils Palliative Measures to Cushion Impact of Coronavirus on Economy
16 March | This Day | The measures include a moratorium of one year on all principal repayments, effective March 1, 2020 as well as interest rate reduction on all applicable CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020

Nepal’s Remittance-Dependent Economy Braces for Upheaval Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
15 March 2020 | Kathmandu Post | Coronavirus-related restrictions issued by destination countries for Nepalese migrants will hurt Nepal’s remittance-dependent economy as a whole.

SBI to Foray Into Microfinance, May Offer Loans at Lower Interest Rates
March 12 | Economic Times | The move by India’s largest lender is likely to roil the segment because it is planning to offer micro loans at rates lower than that is prevailing in the market nationwide through its wide network of branches.

Coronavirus Stands to Wipe $3 Billion off Bangladesh Economy
8 March 2020 | The Daily Star | Bangladesh's gross domestic product may contract by over one percent  in the hypothetical worst-case scenario of a significant outbreak of coronavirus in the country according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) analysis.

Data Sources and COVID-19 Response Trackers

FinDev Guide to Data - Tracking the Global Response to COVID-19
FinDev Guide | 28 March 2020 | FinDev Gateway

To help the financial inclusion and microfinance community navigate the most relevant data sources and COVID-19 response trackers, FinDev Gateway created a Data Guide that will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.


All events below are hosted online. For a complete list of events and to learn how you can share events with us, visit FinDev's Events page, which is updated daily.

Let's Hear From FINCA, Aga Khan Microfinance, BRAC Microfinance and Growth Africa: Their Approach in This Unprecedented Time
Host: Avrio Impact, Amarante Consulting

In this webinar you will hear from four panelists, who find themselves in the thick of this pandemic situation, working pan-continents and having to take measures to safeguard their personnel, and support their clients as they grapple with this crisis as well.

First Insights From China: The Effects of COVID-19 on Financial Health of MSEs
31 March Host: BFA Global

BFA Global and the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion (CAFI) come together to present the early insights from CAFI’s research on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the financial health of micro and small enterprises.

SPTF Social Investor Working Group: Special Session to Coordinate Responses on COVID
Host: Social Performance Task Force (SPTF)

With financial service providers and their customers suffering from the COVID crisis, how will investors be affected? How should social investors respond? The focus of this webinar is on collective action and coordination.

Covid-19 Coping Strategies for the Microfinance Ecosystem
Host: M-CRIL

As the events surrounding COVID-19 unfold, the M-CRIL team will deliver thoughtful analysis and resources through a series of webinars that will help the microfinance stakeholders in Asia to deal more effectively with the current uncertainty and disruption. 

EaSI Technical Assistance: Supporting Actions for Roma & Traveller Populations
Host: European Microfinance Network

This webinar aims at presenting different approaches to meet the financial needs of Roma and traveler populations.

Do you have a publication, dataset, news or an event that you'd like to share with the microfinance and financial inclusion community in our FinDev Weekly Update?  You can share them with us by following our guidelines here.

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