FinDev Guide

COVID-19 FinDev Weekly Update | 23 - 29 Jul 2020

Roundup of the most relevant coronavirus-related resources for the microfinance and financial inclusion community
Floating Market. Photo by Thanh Hai Nguyen, 2011 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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  • Enabling rapid account opening. Last week, we shared a white paper which focused on regulatory tools that governments can use to enable rapid account openings. A new CGAP COVID-19 Briefing explains how government and nongovernmental actors can enable rapid account opening while ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules.
  • More survey insights on MFIs. ADA, Inpulse, and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation say that the size of MFIs determines their ability to cope with the effects of the global pandemic. Based on their survey of 110 partner MFIs around the world, only 2 percent of large MFIs report having insufficient liquidity, compared to an average of 29 percent of small MFIs. Similarly, the CGAP Global Pulse Survey of Microfinance Institutions has been monitoring the liquidity situation of MFIs globally. An upcoming webinar will discuss the implications of the findings. In a recent post, CFI’s Mayada El-Zoghbi offers key takeaways from e-MFPs latest Compass, while cautioning about the selection bias of voluntary surveys. 
  • Beyond selection bias in research, in this blog post, authors of Dalberg Advisors remind us about the importance of applying strong ethical principles while conducting research during COVID-19, especially when addressing sensitive issues, such as domestic violence and mental health. 
  • The global pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women in rural and agricultural livelihoods. A CGAP blog identifies four key areas funders should prioritize; capturing data on women to better understand their experiences is at the top of the priority list. FinEquity, a global community to advance women's financial inclusion, tracks various initiatives that focus on collecting sex-disaggregated data. 


  • The Reserve Bank of India has not yet decided whether to extend the moratorium on loan repayments past the 31 Aug deadline, as banks disagree with the business sector
  • Collection efficiency improved in June for MFIs in India after a significant drop in April and May due to the lockdown and loan repayment moratorium. 
  • In July, remittances to Bangladesh hit an all-time high, possibly indicating that the situation abroad is slowly returning to normal and migrants are being paid again, or that migrants are sending money back home in preparation for returning.
  • One-third of Philippine businesses had used up all their cash and savings by 15 May, while another one-third expected to run out in the next one to three months, according to a survey by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the impact of COVID-19.


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

  • Togo launched a zero-rate digital credit program called Yolim to support Togolese farmers affected by COVID-19. Farmers will receive digital vouchers to buy fertilizers or rent tractors. 
  • The financial services group Absa launched Zambia’s first contactless payment card to facilitate cashless payments. 
  • FINCA Uganda launched a new campaign called “Tomorrow is Here,” offering new products and online options for clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The African Development Bank approved over $41 million in grants for Djibouti to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the country.
  • In Nigeria, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) launched the "NAICOM Academy" to provide training about post-COVID-19 insurance across West Africa.

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.

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

Arab World

  • The SANAD fund for MSME extended a $15 million loan to Banque du Caire so that the bank can continue to lend to MSMEs, farmers and MFIs in Egypt.
  • The COVID-19 crisis and resulting job losses are adding to the challenges for women looking to enter the job market in Saudi Arabia, threatening recent gains in gender equality.
  • In Sudan, COVID-19 restrictions, conflict, and rising staple food prices are leaving almost a quarter of the population hungry.

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.

Foreign Workers' Remittances

This data portal reports the transfers of money sent abroad by immigrants settled in Italy by means of payment institutions or other authorized intermediaries without using bank accounts.

COVID-19 Policy Response (CPR) Portal

The portal systematically captures policy responses through population restrictions, social protection, trade, health, fiscal, and monetary measures and examines different types of institutional collaboration governments have used to manage the pandemic.

Coping-Response-Recovery From COVID-19

This data source focuses on the low and middle-income segments with uncertain and irregular incomes and the impact of COVID-19 on their digital lives, and government responses.

Impacts of COVID-19

This resource provides data on low-income families who self-identified as below-poverty line (BPL) to help policymakers make timely, informed decisions about meeting the needs of BLP families during the ongoing crisis.

Recent Publications

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

Rapid Account Opening in a Pandemic

This Briefing provides guidance for those designing and deploying social assistance payments to help them work with financial sector regulators and implement social assistance payments that facilitate rapid, remote account opening.

COVID-19: Boon and Bane for Digital Payments and Financial Inclusion

This brief compares the approaches taken by authorities in different countries, examining the different drivers for supporting the fintech industry during the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 Impact on Philippine Business: Key Findings From the Enterprise Survey

This report draws on a survey of Philippine businesses to provide initial facts and ideas to help the government develop evidence-based policies to support enterprises hurt by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

The Impact of COVID-19 on LMI Segment in Indonesia

This is the first of two publications highlighting the insights from MSC study to understand the economic and health impact of COVID-19 on low and medium income Indonesians.

Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Low and Middle Income Segments in Indonesia

This study aims to understand the economic and health impact of COVID-19 on low and middle-income segments, and provides recommendations for policymakers to improve them.


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

Impact on Clients

Debts in Distress: How Ordinary People Are Finding the Liquidity They Need to Survive COVID

Women in Rural and Agricultural Livelihoods Facing COVID-19

Alleviating Digital Headaches

Sex-Disaggregated COVID-19 Data Resources

Impact on the Microfinance Sector

COVID-19 Affects Microfinance Institutions of Different Sizes in Different Ways

Four Reflections on the COVID e-MFP Compass

Financial Service Provider Operations

Importance of HR and CEO Leadership During COVID-19: Considerations for Financial Service Providers

Stress Testing in Crisis: Helping Cooperatives Adjust Financial Projections During COVID-19

Can Group Lending Work in a Socially Distant World?



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

Drop in Remittances to Hurt Consumption in Philippines

SANAD and Banque du Caire Strengthen Partnership to Support MSMEs, Agribusinesses, Microfinance Institutions in Egypt in Light of COVID-19 Crisis

Bangladesh: Remittance Hits Record High in July


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.

Effects of COVID-19 on Domestic and Cross Border Payments and Remittances in Southern African Development Community (SADC)

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

Training: Enabling Digital Payments for MFIs During COVID 19

Building Financial Resilience and Sustainable Banking Models Through Savings


View All Events Related to COVID-19 >

View All Webinar Recordings >

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