FinDev Guide

FinDev COVID-19 Update | 27 Aug - 09 Sep 2020

Roundup of the most relevant coronavirus-related resources for the microfinance and financial inclusion community
Sorting and cleaning fish. Photo by Loc Mai, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest.

FinDev Gateway has created this COVID-19 Update with the latest and most relevant knowledge resources for financial inclusion as they become available. Sign up to receive this update to your inbox as soon as it comes out. 

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  • The finance ministry of India says that India is experiencing a “V-shaped recovery” as many industries have begun to recover; however financial inclusion was flagged as an area in need of special attention.
  • Fintechs in Indonesia offered to support the government in disbursing COVID-19 economic recovery funds, even while most start-ups are coping with the impact of the pandemic themselves, according to an MSC report. MSC offers recommendations for fintech stakeholders and governments to survive the pandemic.
  • Remittances to Nepal have remained high, dropping only by 0.5 percent compared to last year, despite predictions by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank of a 14 to 28.7 percent drop.
  • Nepali insurtech company Stonestep has partnered with the Swiss Capacity Building Fund to launch an e-health and COVID-19 insurance product.
  • The latest results from the Garment Worker Diaries in Bangladesh reveal that 25 percent of those surveyed have had to use savings to cover expenses, 18 percent borrowed money, and 15 percent disobeyed quarantine rules to earn an income.


  • According to the Central Bank of Kenya, the value of monthly mobile money transactions in the country reached a record $4.18 billion. The surge was linked to the growing use of cashless payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Inter-African Coffee Organization announced a $14.3 million plan to alleviate market disruption and income challenges for millions of coffee smallholder farmers. Prices are going down and the loss of exports threatens 6.6 million jobs, mostly in East Africa.
  • According to the RECOVR survey conducted by IPA in Côte d’Ivoire, almost half of the survey sample have become unemployed since February. Many have also seen their hours and earnings decline, with a more severe impact on informal workers.
  • In Cameroon, BGFI Bank has partnered with the government to provide a $17 million credit line to support SMEs, 72 percent of whom have been affected by the pandemic.

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.

  • A new decree in Peru promotes the formalization of agricultural markets where farmer and indigenous communities can sell their products directly to consumers. The country also urges local governments and other institutions to include farmers in formal financial services.
  • The Chambers of Commerce of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have joined forces with ILO to launch a program that will provide micro, small and medium entrepreneurs with free practical tools to increase business productivity and profitability, with the objective of helping them join the formal economy.
  • According to Colombia Fintech, the pandemic has accelerated the demand in Colombia for “nanocredit” (very small loans), which is typically used to pay urgent consumption needs. More than 40 institutions, most of them fintechs, offer such loans, especially to those who do not have access to traditional financial channels.
  • Chile approved a cash contribution for the most vulnerable families and households led by women. The measure also promotes employment among women by providing a cash incentive to employers.  

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

Arab World

  • Accounting giant KPMG released a new report showing that the fintech market in the MENA region is set for expansion and diversification “for the foreseeable future,” fueled by new initiatives geared toward supporting the sector. 
  • An increase in fraud cases during the COVID-19 pandemic propelled payroll solutions provider Edenred UAE to roll out a revamped mobile banking application called C3Pay for more secure transactions. 
  • The Egyptian government plans to establish a $2 billion investment fund to develop the non-banking financial services sector and clear the path for the country’s digital transformation. 
  • The leading local delivery hub, Delivery Hero SE, which serves over 20 million consumers in the Arab world, announced a partnership with Mastercard to digitize its payment chain across all their brands in the region.

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

Photo by Thao Vu Xuan, 2016 CGAP Photo Contest

COVID-19 Insights for Inclusive Finance

Collection of recent CGAP blogs and publications


Recent Publications

Digital Technology in Social Assistance Transfers for COVID-19 Relief: Lessons From Selected Cases

Effects of a Universal Basic Income During the Pandemic

Navigating the New Normal: Can Behavioral Sciences Help?

ADB’s Rapid COVID-19 Response in Southeast Asia


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

Financial Inclusion Sector Support

From Crisis to Opportunity: How Can Lenders Help Build Resilient Agri-SMEs

How Will Coronavirus Change the Global Microfinance Industry?

Preserving Liquidity in Ghana’s Susu Collection System During the COVID-19 Crisis

Yes, Financial Inclusion and Financial Stability Are Compatible Goals

Are Moratoriums Good Policy and Good for FSPs?

Socioeconomic Impact

The Global State of Small Business During COVID-19: Gender Inequalities

Combining New And Traditional Mechanisms In Northern Kenya To Cope During COVID-19

Migration and Remittances During COVID-19

Differentiate by Gender the Impact of COVID-19 on Microfinance Clients to Guarantee Equity and Access

Cash Transfers

Giving People Cash During Covid: A Look at What We're Working On

Using Behavioral Insights to Make the Most of Emergency Social Protection Cash Transfers

Digital Technology to Scale Up COVID-19 Social Assistance: What Have We Learned?

Kenya Enhances Its Cash Transfer Programmes in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Digital Finance

Plugging Into Contactless Payment in Post-COVID Asia

Necessity Is the Mother of Disruption: How Indonesia’s Fintech Startups Can Survive the Do-Or-Die Situation of COVID-19



Microfinance Firms in Myanmar Struggle to Stay Afloat in Second Wave

COVID-19 Drives African States Into Cashless Societies

Remittances to Mexico Hit Third Highest Level on Record in July

Defying Predictions, Nepal’s Remittances Still High


View All News Related to COVID-19 >

Webinars & Recordings

Identifying and Analyzing the Most Vulnerable Female Segments Under COVID-19

Recording: 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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