0

Author: Stuart Rutherford
As the European Microfinance Award 2020 on ‘Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings‘ moves to its final Selection Committee and High Jury stages, and the announcement of the winner during European Microfinance Week in November, e-MFP is publishing pieces from various experts who have worked in Savings over the decades. This, the second in the series is from Stuart Rutherford, a pioneer in the field – “Think ‘Bangladesh’ and you probably think ‘microcredit’. Rightly so. BRAC and Grameen Bank pioneered joint-liability credit groups for the poor in the 1970s. ASA hugely improved the model’s efficiency and it soon spread around the world. But look at a recent Grameen Bank balance sheet. As of 2018 Grameen Bank borrowers had loans worth 154 billion taka (about US$1.8 billion). But its savers held deposits worth 221 billion taka ($2.7 billion). The bank that pioneered loans for poor households now holds a lot of their savings. In this transformation, what was the role of the providers, and what was the role of their clients?”

0

Author: Hans Dieter Seibel - e-MFP founding board member 2006-2015
As the European Microfinance Award 2020 on ‘Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings‘ moves to its final Selection Committee and High Jury stages, and the announcement of the winner during European Microfinance Week in November, e-MFP will be publishing pieces from various experts who have worked in Savings over the decades. Beginning with this one from Hans Dieter Seibel, a pioneer in the field – “In 1963 I went to Nigeria for a study on ‘Industrial Labor and Cultural Change’. In my interviews with factory workers, I found that many saved in a saving club, an ‘esusu’, and were looking forward to establishing their own small enterprise with esusu savings. Nigeria has a flourishing SME sector, spanning everything from hairdressers to app developers, from restaurants to hotels, and from welders to film production houses. Informal savings clubs and, more recently, microfinance banks (now organised in the Nigerian Microfinance Platform, which visited e-MFP in February), all savings-led, are their main sources of finance”.

0

Author: e-MFP
We’re delighted to announce the publication of "Adapting to a New Normal", the latest annual paper that presents the outcomes of the European Microfinance Award 2019 on ‘Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change’. It is part of an Award publication series, produced since 2008, that details the issues and challenges of that year’s Award topic, summarises the Award process, profiles the Award semi-finalists and their relevant initiatives, and extracts factors for success that distinguish these programmes. More than ever, the lessons from the 2019 Award on how to protect clients, staff and institutions from external crises are especially relevant as a Covid-threatened sector seeks to adapt today to not just one, but two ‘new normals’. "Adapting to a New Normal" was written by e-MFP’s Sam Mendelson with support from Camille Dassy, Gemma Cavaliere, Gabriela Erice and Daniel Rozas. It opens with an explanation of the threats of climate change, what this ‘accretion of threats’ shares with the current Covid-19 crisis across the sector and the world at large, what financial services providers can do to protect vulnerable populations (and themselves) from the impacts of climate change, and then presents the climate change resilience initiatives of the ten semi-finalists across three broad categories: Increasing Resilience to Unpredictable/High-Impact External Shocks; Helping Clients Adapt to a Changing Climate; and Strengthening Institutional Resilience.

0

Author: e-MFP
As part of our efforts to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on microfinance markets around the globe, e-MFP reached out to Cooperativa Tosepantomin in Mexico, a good and long-time friend of e-MFP, having been a winner of the European Microfinance Award in 2017. Via an email exchange, Álvaro Aguilar Ayón, Chairman of the Board of Directors, brought us up to speed on the situation on the ground: On 9 June 2020, the Mexican Ministry of Health reported that there were over 124,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 14,053 deaths since the first infections of this pandemic in our country. With these data, Mexico is one of the 10 countries with the most casualties due to COVID-19.

0

Author: e-MFP
As part of our efforts to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on microfinance markets around the globe, e-MFP reached out to Advans CI in Cote d’Ivoire, a good and long-time friend of e-MFP, having been a winner of the European Microfinance Award in 2018. Via an email exchange, Mariam Djibo, CEO, brought us up to speed on the situation on the ground: To date, there have been 2,477 confirmed cases, of which 95% are in Abidjan, and 30 deaths. The government has built several testing centers in Abidjan and ordered 200 million masks. Given the statistics available and the potential impact of a strong economic crisis, restrictions on gatherings have recently been lifted and schools have been opened outside Abidjan. As of May 15 there is also an ease of restrictions within Abidjan.

0

Author: e-MFP
As part of our efforts to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on microfinance markets around the globe, e-MFP reached out to Kompanion Bank in Kyrgyzstan, a good and long-time friend of e-MFP, having been a winner of the European Microfinance Award in 2014. Via an email exchange, Margarita Cherikbaeva, CEO, brought us up to speed on the situation on the ground: As of morning May 20, there were 1,322 coronavirus infection cases in Kyrgyzstan, 37 cases for the last 24 hours. 949 people recovered (68.3% of the total number of registered COVID-19 cases). Analysis shows a downward trend starting from April 16. An increase was observed from April 5 to 20. The highest numbers were registered on April 11-12. The number of cases has started to decrease since end of April. Regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Ministry of Economy projects a 6.8% decline in the annual GDP due to self-isolation.

0

Author: e-MFP
As part of our efforts to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on microfinance markets around the globe, e-MFP reached out to Kashf Foundation in Pakistan, a good and long-time friend of e-MFP, having been a winner of the European Microfinance Award in 2016. Via an email exchange, Roshaneh Zafar, Founder and Managing Director, brought us up to speed on the situation on the ground: "The novel coronavirus has wreaked havoc in the country. To date 31,728 cases have been confirmed in the country with 691 deaths. The province of Sindh and Punjab have been most impacted by the virus with 12,017 and 11,568 cases respectively. They are followed by KP (4,875), Balochistan (2,061), Islamabad (679) and GB/AJK (442/86). Moreover, as the country grapples with the coronavirus, the economic impact is mounting, with the economy expected to shrink to negative 1-1.5% against an expected growth rate of 2.4% during the current fiscal year. In addition, the imports are expected to decrease by 50-60% and the exports by 10-20%. The employment loss is also estimated at 20%".

0

Author: e-MFP
Like many major microfinance markets, the Philippines microfinance sector is suffering from the twin threats of a public health emergency and the mitigation response which entails economic shutdown, both of which disproportionately impact vulnerable population segments and the financial providers that serve them. As part of our efforts to understand the impact of the pandemic on our partners, e-MFP reached out to Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), a good and long-time friend of e-MFP, having been a winner and finalist of the European Microfinance Award on multiple occasions. Via an email exchange, ASKI brought us up to speed on the situation on the ground which has greatly affected the whole community including the microentrepreneur clients of ASKI.

0

Author: Daniel Rozas
Liquidity has been foremost on the minds of just about everyone in the financial inclusion sector. Several essays on this site have delved into the topic. The first article in our liquidity series outlined three drivers for illiquidity: deposit withdrawals, operating costs, and maturing debt, and argues that maturing debt presents the greatest risk. But what does the data say? Here we will dig into that, and investigate just how severe the different elements of the liquidity crunch are to different categories of MFI around the world. We don't have access to sector-wide data reflecting the situation right now. Nobody does. But we can get a good view of what may be happening from historical data collected by MIX Market over many years. Let's start with the most basic question. Assume an MFI is operating under complete shutdown, with no repayments, no new disbursements, and no other inflow or outflow of funds - it's operating entirely from cash reserves. How many months would it be able to survive before the money runs out?

0

Author: Daniel Rozas - Sam Mendelson
In our first piece in this series "Keeping the Patient Alive - Adapting Crisis Rubrics for a Covid World", we introduced the analogy of the emergency room doctors trying to treat a critically ill patient - a financial services provider (FSP), its staff and clients in lockdown or socially distancing, unable to travel and with incomes collapsing, health expenditures increasing, and some sick or dying. Repayments are close to impossible, and new loan applications are flat. But operational expenses continue, and it’s a race against the clock. In short, this patient is critical. To continue the analogy, ensuring the reciprocal trust and confidence of staff and clients and investors is like treating a patient’s organs, with interventions from pharmacology to surgery to transplant. We’ll get to that, though. For now, the challenges need triage. The patient can’t breathe, so she cannot oxygenate and circulate her blood. This, to come back to our institution, is the critical need for liquidity.

Pages