person creating facial masks for protection from covid-19 Photo for CGAP by Tony Karumba via Communication for Development Ltd.

What can we learn from past crises?

While the public health and economic dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming unlike anything we have confronted, earlier crises offer valuable lessons on how health and economic shocks can disrupt the delivery of financial services for the poor and how governments, funders, and financial institutions can respond to these challenges. In an effort to make such lessons more widely accessible, below is a listing of past CGAP research.

The role of microfinance institutions

BLOG SERIES  2015-2016

The Arab World and Financial Inclusion During Crises

This blog series looks at how donors and investors in the Arab World have approached crisis situations, including how they have worked with microfinance institutions to help restore livelihoods.


Lessons Learned from the Moroccan Crisis

This paper outlines lessons from the rise, fall, and recovery of Morocco’s microfinance sector that may be useful when adapted in other countries. Though the government failed to prevent the crisis, its efforts proved catalytic in the recovery.


The Impact of the Financial Crisis on MFIs and Their Clients  

In March 2009, CGAP and MIX surveyed over 400 microfinance institutions about the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. While respondents felt liquidity and credit risk management challenges, interest rates held steady and they remained optimistic.


The Global Financial Crisis and Its Impact on Microfinance

During the 2008 financial crisis, MFIs clients experienced lower incomes and remittance flows. Yet deposit-taking MFIs were better positioned to keep serving clients than those reliant on international funders amid global liquidity contraction.

To view other relevant research, please visit FinDev Gateway's topic pages on library on COVID-19Refugees, and Disasters and Conflict.


Humanitarian crises


Forcibly Displaced Persons and Financial Services: Why and How?

This collection of resources highlights the role of financialservices in humanitarian crises and what have we learned from the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon and Jordan.


Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Financial Inclusion

Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan receive more than one quarter of their humanitarian assistance in the form of cash and vouchers. Leveraging this aid delivery to connect refugees to the formal financial system requires the host country to have widespread digital financial ecosystem in place and coordination among governments, aid agencies, and financial service providers.


Vulnerable Groups in Lebanon Cite Health as Top Financial Challenge

Even before COVID-19, health shocks were among the most damaging challenges for low-income households in Lebanon. This blog discusses informal coping mechanisms and calls for urgent government and funder support for savings and insurance solutions.


The Role of Financial Services in Humanitarian Crises

This publication offers a framework for how financial services support sustainable livelihoods during periods of humanitarian crisis, finding that solutions for digital cash transfers and remittances, savings and insurance are especially important.


Financial Services in Humanitarian Crises 

Building on the CGAP, SPF and World Bank Group’s “The Role of Financial Services in Humanitarian Crises” paper, this blog series examines the role financial services play in helping low-income households overcome adversity in times of crisis.

To view other relevant research, please visit FinDev Gateway's topic pages on library on COVID-19Refugees, and Disasters and Conflict.