Economy and Epidemic: Microfinance and HIV/AIDS in Asia
This paper argues that one of the roles that microfinance can play is assisting clients to protect their income and assets from the impact of crisis events such as AIDS, natural disasters or conflicts. Financial risk management should be a key goal and activity of the MFIs.
The paper states that:
- Asia faces a serious AIDS epidemic and the people most at risk - the poor in general, and poor women in particular are also target groups for microfinance activities;
- MFIs in Asia cannot ignore the impact that AIDS has and will continue to have on their clients;
- MFIs in Asia can find many ways to assist their clients in coping with HIV/AIDS;
- They have an opportunity to prepare policies, products and services that will enable households that are impacted by HIV/AIDS to fare better financially.
The paper enunciates policy recommendations to help MFIs:
- Examine the reality of HIV/AIDS in meaningful and effective ways;
- Support the prevention of the disease;
- Mitigate its economic impact on affected households.