FinDev Guide

COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update | 16 - 22 Jul 2020

Roundup of the most relevant coronavirus-related resources for the microfinance and financial inclusion community
Farmers carrying hay. Photo by Arup Halder, 2012 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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  • Global Data, a data analytics and consulting company, revised its forecasts for the Asia Pacific region, predicting a 6.5 percent increase in card payments for 2020, accelerated by the pandemic. The increase is mostly due to growing online purchases and preference for in-store contactless payments as opposed to cash.
  • In the Philippines, digital payment platform GCash has seen a significant increase in the number of registered users and the amount of payments made through its platform. In collaboration with the government, GCash plans to equip taxis to be able to take QR payments. 
  • Despite the dip in disbursements due to COVID-19, the Indian microfinance sector ended the fiscal year 2019-20 “on a high note with a surge in portfolio,” reaching a growth rate of 23 percent over the previous year, according to a CRIF Microlend report (Source: Telangana Today).


  • The microfinance network VisionFund Uganda conducted a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on savings groups in refugee camps. Despite the vast majority of respondents reporting some level of financial stress, 81 percent of the groups are still meeting and prove to be resilient. 
  • According to a MSC report, 86 percent of Kenyan MSMEs reported a decline in customer footfall. 
  • A recent drop in cocoa demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening a plan by two of the top chocolate producing countries, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, which would have guaranteed a minimum wage to two millions cocoa farmers. 
  • Efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have affected insurers’ operations across Africa, as well as the insurance product cycle and balance sheets.

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

Latin America and the Caribbean

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

  • Asomif, the national MFI network in Nicaragua, announced that portfolio at risk over 30 days for associated MFIs increased to 19.3 percent in June, and credit contracted 13.5 percent in the first half of the year.
  • The microfinance sector in Bolivia claims that a bill that extends the deferral of loan payments until the end of 2020 will cause liquidity and sustainability problems for MFIs that serve 2.8 million clients.
  • decree in Peru approved an emergency fund for agricultural families that is expected to reach 300,000 farmers.

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

Arab World

  • According to a report on small businesses published by the World Bank, OECD and Facebook, 70 percent of SMEs in the MENA region reported a decline in sales and 32 percent reported issues with cash flow due to the pandemic.
  • The local non-profit Jordan Labour Watch expects that Jordan will lose about 10  percent of the 1.35 million jobs existing in the formal market. 
  • A survey by the Norwegian Refugee Council reveals that one in every four vulnerable families in Yemen have lost all their income since the onset of the pandemic in April; 94 percent of families declared food as their main concern. 

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


Recent Publications

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

Emergency Disbursements During COVID-19: Regulatory Tools for Rapid Account Opening and Oversight

This paper summarizes the range of practice across jurisdictions that have employed a combination of simplified due diligence, licensing of non-bank financial institutions, and digital identification to enroll unbanked individuals so that they could receive COVID-19-related relief cash transfers. 

Never Waste a Crisis: How Sub-Saharan African Insurers Are Being Affected By, and Are Responding To, COVID-19

This note takes stock of the impacts of the pandemic on insurers, based on interviews with 34 insurers, insurtechs, reinsurers and insurance and broker associations.

Municipal IDs Offer Cities Lessons for COVID-19 Cash Assistance Programs

This study looks at examples of more than 70 city- and county-led municipal identification initiatives to provide lessons to cities facing similar challenges while establishing cash assistance programs in response to COVID-19.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): Kenya Report

This report provides a detailed country-level view of the impact of COVID-19 on micro, small, and medium enterprises in Kenya and provides recommendations for policymakers and financial service providers on how to support them.

Coping With COVID-19

This report focuses on low- and middle-income households providing critical insights on their livelihoods exacerbated by COVID-19.

Women’s Access to Cash Transfers in Light of COVID-19: The Case of Pakistan

This policy note highlights examples of COVID-19 government cash transfer programs in Pakistan, and how large gender gaps in mobile phone ownership and national ID possession cause women to be disproportionately excluded from these programs.


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 Coalition, MIVs Team Up in Response to COVID-19

Ride-Hailing Drivers in Indonesia Discuss Livelihoods, COVID-19

COVID-19: A Harbinger of Consumer Behavior Shifts Among Fintech Users

Two Ways to Make the COVID-19 Recovery More Inclusive for Women

PART IV: Thoughts on a Way to Think About Risk, Crises, and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Is There a Liquidity Crisis Among MFIs, and if so, Where?

Phone Surveys to Understand Gendered Impacts of COVID-19: A Cautionary Note



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

COVID-19 Impact: Digital Payments Soar in Philippines

IFC Finances the City Bank to Help Bangladeshi Companies and Small and Medium Enterprises Impacted by COVID-19


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.

Rural Livelihoods in a Changing Food System

Online Workshop Series: Debt Restructuring in Microfinance During COVID-19

How Is COVID-19 Impacting the Sustainability of Microfinance Institutions?


View All Events Related to COVID-19 >

View All Webinar Recordings >

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