FinDev Guide

COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update | 02 - 08 Jul 2020

Roundup of the most relevant coronavirus-related resources for the microfinance and financial inclusion community
Pushing a cart in the water. Photo by Anindya Majumdar, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest.

FinDev Gateway has created this COVID-19 weekly update with the latest and most relevant knowledge resources for financial inclusion as they become available. Sign up to receive FinDev's weekly update each Friday with a summary of the main issues covered during the week. 

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  • An IMF study introduces a new index of digital financial inclusion. The study, which covers 52 countries and includes insights from 70 fintech firms, banks, and regulators, finds that digital finance is increasing financial inclusion and may contribute to a higher GDP growth.  Many, however, worry about persistent barriers to digital finance for the most vulnerable people, especially women, who are less likely to own phones and may lack the literacy and numeracy skills needed to take advantage of digital financial services.
  • Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are an important source of jobs in emerging markets. A CGAP blog offers several ways in which MSEs can be segmented so that policies aimed at helping them can be more inclusive and effective. At the MIT D-Lab, an "Urgency Index" is helping identify enterprises that need help the most.


  • In Pakistan, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) found that microenterprises experienced a 90 percent drop in weekly household income, increasing concerns about food insecurity. About 70 percent of MFI clients interviewed were unable to make the required loan payments and - despite official MFI policy allowing debt restructuring - most clients said MFIs have not reached out to offer repayment flexibility.  
  • In Indonesia, the decline in sales volume reduced monthly income by 60 percent for 92 percent of MSME households surveyed by MSC. COVID-19 has also impacted the revenue streams of CICO agents in the country, who have seen both lower transaction volumes and lower ticket sizes of transactions.
  • In India, despite a strong push for digital payments, a survey finds that micro-merchants remain skeptical due to numerous barriers, including poor access to and use of technology, slow internet, and inadequate power supply.


Some articles and knowledge resources referenced in this section are in French.

  • New sex-disaggregated data collected by FinMark Trust (FMT) focuses on the impacts of COVID-19 on livelihoods across seven countries in Sub Saharan Africa. Initial findings shared in a recent FinEquity webinar show that the COVID-19 crisis is reducing the resilience of women to shocks. 
  • African Central Banks have taken a wide range of measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic; 27 have reduced their policy rates and offered liquidity support, while 22 have allowed loan deferrals and refinancing. 
  • The Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, Africa’s MAIN microfinance network, SIDI and the ACTES Foundation have established a consortium to support 50 African MFIs by offering them risk analysis and management tools to help manage liquidity and solvency risk.
  • The prospect of recession in Chad threatens the country’s middle class, as the poverty rate is expected to increase from 40 to 43 percent of the population. 

For more on Africa, check out the latest Portail FinDev Weekly Update in French.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Most articles and knowledge resources referenced in this section are in Spanish.

  • Latin America is rapidly shifting to a cashless economy. According to a Mastercard survey, two thirds of respondents in the region are using less cash or not using it at all, with Brazilians (53 percent), Mexicans (41 percent) and Colombians (41 percent) leading the way.
  • ECLAC forecasts that 2.7 million companies in the region will go out of business, over 96 percent of which are microenterprises, leading to a loss of 8.5 million jobs.
  • The Bolivian Central Bank announced that financial institutions cannot charge more than 3 percent annual interest on loans; in addition, loans need to be used for the purchase of national products and services.
  • new regulation in Peru will require financial institutions to offer clients at least one credit card without membership fees.
  • The Central American and the Caribbean Microfinance Network, REDCAMIF, launched a financial educational platform that offers sanitary guidelines to help MFIs and their clients cope with the pandemic. 

For more on LAC, check out the latest Portal FinDev Weekly Update in Spanish.

Arab World

  • According to a new study, refugees are 60 percent more likely to be financially impacted by COVID-19. The study covers eight large refugee-hosting countries around the world, including Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq and offers recommendations on how countries can protect refugee livelihoods. 
  • The Central Bank of Jordan has adopted several measures to protect MSMEs during the pandemic; the Bank launched a $705 million Finance Facilitation Program and has encouraged the use digital transactions. 
  • Thousands of migrant workers, most of whom used to work informally in sectors affected by the lockdown, are stuck in Iraq without income or a way back home.
  • In MENA, a region particularly vulnerable to climate change, the crisis could be used as an opportunity to make the economy more environment-friendly.

For more on the Arab world and resources in Arabic, check out the latest FinDev Weekly Update in Arabic.

COVID-19 Resources

Man on a boat with a lantern. Photo by Uttam Kamati, 2017 CGAP Photo Contest.

Global Community Response to COVID-19

A list of organizations offering resources and insights on COVID-19 & microfinance

FinDev Guide to Data - Tracking the Global Response to COVID-19

FinDev Coronavirus Data Tracker

Data relevant for financial inclusion - find out who is tracking what

Discussion Forum.

Discussion Forum

Forum for the financial inclusion sector to discuss responses to COVID-19


New Data Sources

View our complete Data Tracker listing most important sources and trackers by the level of their relevance to the sector.

Tracking Economic Impact

This data tracker is meant to help targeting economically vulnerable populations and to track impacts of the response to COVID-19 on the economy, the financial sector and people's financial lives and resilience.

Recent Publications

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

The Promise of Fintech: Financial Inclusion in the Post COVID-19 Era
The findings in this paper suggest that digital financial inclusion could play an important role in mitigating the economic and social impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Liquidity in Lockdown – Update 2: India’s SFBs & MFIs Coping With the Pandemic
This Advisory Note estimates the magnitude of the liquidity shortfall for small finance banks resulting from the current six-month moratorium.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on CICO Agents in Indonesia
This report analyzes the impact of the pandemic on on cash in cash out agents, highlights their coping strategies, and provides recommendations to help them recover.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on MSMEs: Indonesia Report
This publication analyzes the economic consequences of the pandemic on micro, small and medium enterprises, highlights their coping strategies, and provides policy recommendations.

Coping With COVID-19 in Bangladesh
This publication, based on conversations with 80 low-and middle-income households, highlights the community response and their perspective on COVID-19.


View All Publications Related to COVID-19 >

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 wish to share an existing blog post in our next FinDev Weekly Update, you can send it to us using our contact form

Microfinance Institutions


Auditing During the Crisis

Digital Finance


One Billion Accounts in the Pandemic Era: Insights from GSMA’s Mobile Money Report

The Digital Payments Push: What 50 Micro-Merchants in India Are Saying

Socio-Economic Impact


Teleworking is Not Working for the Poor, the Young, and the Women

COVID-19 and Resilience Innovations in Food Supply Chains

COVID-19 Gendered Impacts on Livelihoods in Africa: A new Sex Disaggregated Data Set for SSA

Relief Funding


Who Should Get COVID-19 Funding? How MIT D-Lab’s ‘Urgency Index’ is Helping it Deploy Grants to the Entrepreneurs Who Need Them Most

Emergency Relief for Small Businesses Requires a Targeted Approach

Focus on Clients


Financial Consumer Protection: 3 Steps to Better Customer Outcomes


For the latest news on the impact of coronavirus on financial inclusion, visit our News listing pages.

COVID-19 Is Boosting Fintech and Mobile Money in Myanmar, but What’s Next?

Africa Leaders Urge Closer Ties Amid Post-COVID "Better Normal"

EFSE Invests EUR 20 Million in Yapı Kredi Leasing to Expand Financing to MSEs and Rural Businesses in Turkey

View All News Related to COVID-19 >


For the latest events - hosted by organizations worldwide - exploring the impact of coronavirus on financial inclusion, visit our Events listing page.

The Future of Work: Remaking Rural Employment After COVID-19

The Economic Impact of COVID-19: Results of a Global Survey of Microfinance Customers

COVID-19 Gendered Impacts on Livelihoods in Africa Webinar Series


View All Events Related to COVID-19 >

View All Webinar Recordings >

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