Impact of Coronavirus on the Most Vulnerable
The United Nations and the World Health Organization acknowledged that low-income countries will be hardest hit by COVID-19. Due to lack of basic services like clean water for handwashing, reliable energy access and connectivity to work from home and stay informed coupled with crowded communities and households making social distancing and self-isolation challenging, it is projected that the virus will spread quickly, overwhelming the already inadequate health infrastructure. Financially, these populations are extremely vulnerable, living day to day with little or no savings—or government safety net—to support them during times of crisis.
How FINCA is Responding
FINCA Canada mobilized immediately to address the needs of the most vulnerable in the countries where it works, launching the FINCA Canada Emergency Response Fund to provide emergency relief to low-income communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic across FINCA’s global footprint. Donations to the fund will provide:
- Dissemination of accurate public health and relief information through our expansive networks that reach into remote rural and poor urban communities;
- Expansion loans to help some low-income entrepreneurs who can respond to urgent community needs (e.g., sewing businesses making masks or dressing gowns for health care workers);
- Crisis support to help our clients and employees meet urgent livelihood and health needs;
- Start-up loans to help those whose small businesses have been devastated by the crisis resume operations; and
- Banking services that can help humanitarian relief organizations reach families in need with immediate cash transfers.
With programs on five continents directly reaching 2.7 million people in 12,300 communities, FINCA is in a position to quickly respond to the crisis. Through a global network of microfinance institutions, banks and social enterprises, FINCA has direct reach to millions in the most vulnerable communities where access to health care infrastructure, social safety nets and reliable information are limited.
This reach, coupled with its nearly four-decade history, has made FINCA a trusted community partner ready to respond to customers with solutions that fit the problems they face.
“We are in daily communication with our low-income entrepreneurs, staff and partners in poor countries who experience the significant impact of COVID-19. Based on their economic dependence on face-to-face sales and day-to-day income, we know things will worsen with necessary stay at home orders. We are working hard to meet their emergency financing and health needs with appropriate and sustainable solutions to increase their resilience through this crisis,” said Drew Boshell, Executive Director of FINCA Canada.
The pandemic will have a devastating impact and certainly hit the poor in low-income countries the hardest, but if everyone contributes whatever way they can, we can save lives and come through this crisis stronger and more united.
To donate to the Fund, visit www.FINCACanada.org/emergency. Your support today is more important than ever. Help us save and protect lives before it is too late. Charitable donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.