The twin global crises of a health pandemic and economic lockdowns are severely harming livelihoods of the poor and risk throwing 150 million people back into extreme poverty by the end of 2021, mainly in Africa and South Asia, according to World Bank estimates. While advances in financial services delivery over the last 10 years have given governments and individuals new tools for getting aid to those in need, the crisis is putting other parts of the financial inclusion ecosystem at risk. Microfinance institutions and other credit-issuing organizations face rising non-performing loans, endangering their portfolios and hampering their ability to extend the credit that will be badly needed to help poor people recover from the storm.
In face of these challenges, CGAP has focused its COVID-19 work on the following areas that play a vital role in furthering financial inclusion: the MFI sector; distribution and government-to-person payments; understanding the impact on customers; and guidance for funders and investors.
RESEARCH & ANALYSIS FEBRUARY 2021
This practical guide describes steps that microfinance institutions can take to navigate the COVID-19 health pandemic and prepare for future crises.
COVID-19 BRIEFING DECEMBER 2020
The widespread use of debt moratoria in response to the COVID-19 health and economic emergencies has succeeded in stabilizing financial systems and given borrowers all over the world immediate, if temporary, relief. This Briefing examines how the debt moratoria unfolded in India, Peru and Uganda.
NEWS NOVEMBER 2020
To help fill the void of publicly available data on how this crisis is playing out, CGAP and Symbiotics – a leading microfinance investment vehicle – will be analyzing data on the performance of the more than 300 MFIs in Symbiotics global portfolio.
COVID-19 BRIEFING OCTOBER 2020
Lockdowns have put consumers in financial need and providers under stress, setting the stage for consumer protection challenges to emerge around the provision of credit. In this Briefing, we offer preliminary recommendations for policy makers, regulators, and FSPs on how to keep borrower financial needs front and center without putting excessive stress on FSPs.
COVID-19 BRIEFING SEPTEMBER 2020
Countries worldwide are using social assistance payments as a component of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing addresses how donors and their partners can design and implement social assistance payments that are efficient and secure while providing recipients with reliable, convenient, and safe access to their payments.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is first and foremost a public health crisis, but it is also threatening many people’s financial security. This is especially true for low-income families in developing countries. As reports of distress pour in from individuals, small business and the financial institutions that serve them, it is clear that the financial inclusion community has a vital role to play in supporting financial services ecosystems as part of the global response to the pandemic. CGAP shares information about the pandemic’s impact on financial services providers, their agents and their customers to inform responses within the financial inclusion community.