COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update | 16 - 22 Jul 2020
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- New data from the CGAP Global Pulse Survey of Microfinance Institutions provides additional insights into MFIs' liquidity situation. According to the analysis, while the MFIs have “largely averted a liquidity crisis, this depends on investor willingness to refinance (or extend) maturing debts”. In addition, the situation differs across regions; Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa have a greater share of MFIs facing liquidity constraints.
- A group of microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) have responded to the recent call to action from the Microfinance Coalition. The two groups are now working to identify specific issues on which they can collaborate.
- A new paper highlights regulatory tools that governments can use to enable rapid account openings for unbanked individuals who need to receive emergency benefits. The paper offers examples of countries that have taken specific measures bringing “tens of millions of beneficiaries into the formal financial system”.
- 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.
- 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.
- A 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.
- 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.
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.
Blogs & Opinion
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