Survey Results on Risk Management: Prevention and Mitigation of HIV/AIDS in African MFIs

Preliminary results from the HIV/AIDS risk management in micro finance project survey
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This is a preliminary report of the results from the survey that:

  • Constituted ten microfinance institutions (MFIs) from Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe with varied legal status;
  • Interviewed respondents via telephone or e-mail;
  • Targeted ‘unbanked’ people, small and micro-entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises and the poorest sections of the economically active people;
  • Aimed to provide in-depth knowledge about MFIs and their current HIV/AIDS situation.

The survey questions covered:

  • General awareness about HIV/AIDS;
  • Product development and augmentation;
  • Workplace programs;
  • Strategic alliances;
  • Code of conduct.

The report also presents the following survey conclusions:

  • HIV/AIDS impacted institutions directly in the form of increasing default rates and indirectly in the form of staff absenteeism;
  • Only seven out of ten MFIs had implemented mitigation strategies. These included insurance, awareness training programs and anti-discriminatory policies;
  • Institutions had implemented awareness and prevention training programs in partnership with local non-government organizations (NGOs);
  • Only two MFIs offered specific HIV/AIDS products;
  • Only three MFIs had adjusted products according to clients in terms of loan repayments, downsizing of groups etc.;
  • Five respondents had a policy relating to non-discrimination;
  • Six out of ten respondents had a code of conduct/best practice developed by a network organization of which the MFI was a member.