April 13, 2020—Montreal, QC—FINCA Canada announced today the launch of the FINCA Canada Emergency Response Fund. The fund responds to the immediate and ongoing financial, livelihood and health needs of customers and their communities across FINCA’s global network of banks in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations to the fund will provide flexible financial support to low-income entrepreneurs and mobilize FINCA’s financial system—the FINCA Impact Finance network—to support vulnerable communities. The fund also will support reliable public health messaging to limit the spread of coronavirus infections and the distribution of relief supplies through FINCA’s extensive community-based network, and crisis interventions.
As the United Nations and the World Health Organization have acknowledged, low-income countries will be hardest hit by COVID-19, where medical equipment, health care workers and government capacity for support are in shorter supply. In addition, larger family sizes, high population densities in urban areas and inadequate access to basic services, like running water for handwashing, will exacerbate the spread of the disease. When markets contract, society’s poorest members are most vulnerable to job and income loss.
With programs on five continents, FINCA Canada is being rapidly impacted by the pandemic and is quickly responding to the crisis. Through a global network of microfinance institutions and banks (FINCA Impact Finance) and a last-mile distributor of clean energy products (BrightLife), FINCA Canada has direct reach into poor and low-income populations and rural communities where access to health care infrastructure, social safety nets and reliable information are limited. The FINCA Impact Finance network alone directly serves 12,300 cities and villages across 20 countries, employing a workforce of more than 10,300 to meet the needs of 2.7 million clients. 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 learn more about the FINCA Canada Emergency Response Fund or to make a charitable donation, visit www.FINCACanada.org/emergencyfund.
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About FINCA Canada: FINCA Canada is a member of the FINCA International network which was founded in 1984 on a radical notion: giving small loans to the poor has the power to transform entire communities in a sustainable way. After impacting tens of millions of lives with responsible financial services, we are widening our focus to catalyze further economic growth and alleviate poverty in underserved markets around the world. We remain boldly committed to market-based solutions, and are supporting the rise of social enterprises delivering basic service and financial innovation to help low-income families and communities achieve a better standard of living. For more information, visit www.FINCACanada.org or follow us on Twitter @FINCACanada.
Originally posted on Cision Newswire.