The Impact of the Crisis on Microfinance Institutions: Analyses and Perspectives

In May 2020, ADA and Inpulse joined forces with the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation to analyze the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the microfinance institutions (MFIs) they support worldwide. Five surveys in all were conducted jointly between May and December 2020 among some one hundred institutions. This publication presents the responses of 40 MFIs, all of which participated in three waves of the survey (May, July and December 2020). 

All MFIs and their clients have seen their activities severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects differ depending on demographics, country, region, profile or size, but some trends can be identified.

The data collected shows that MFIs in the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean have been more significantly affected, with a higher risk ratio, a larger drop in the number of active clients, and a decline in outstanding loans. In contrast, the performance of the Europe and Central Asia region remained good, with a controlled risk level, a limited decrease in the number of active clients, and stable portfolios. 80 percent of MFIs in Europe report a gradual return to their pre-crisis activities, which again reflects a good adaptability. In sub-Saharan Africa, a greater return to pre-crisis levels of activity confirms the growth trend over the year, in terms of both volume and number of clients.

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