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The United Nations and the World Health Organization acknowledged that low-income countries will be hardest hit by COVID-19. Many lack basic services, like clean water for handwashing, modern health care for the sick and reliable energy access to work from home or stay informed. In addition, high population densities in urban settings and larger families living in smaller homes make social distancing and self-isolation all but impossible to practice. Financially, these populations are extremely vulnerable, with little or no personal resources—or government safety net—to support them through sharp economic downturns.
FINCA International mobilized immediately to address the needs of the most vulnerable in the countries where it works, launching the FINCA Emergency Response Fund to provide emergency relief to low-income communities and bridge support to early-stage social enterprises affected by the coronavirus pandemic across FINCA’s global footprint. Donations to the fund will provide flexible financial support to low-income entrepreneurs and high-impact start-ups working in health, education, energy and agriculture, and mobilize FINCA’s financial system—the FINCA Impact Finance network—for humanitarian relief cash transfers. The fund also will support 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.
With programs and investments in 44 countries, FINCA International is in a position to quickly respond to the crisis. Through a global network of microfinance institutions, banks and social enterprises, FINCA International 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 over 12,300 cities and villages across 5 continents, 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 know that our customers, staff and partners living and working in low-income countries will bear the greatest burden from COVID-19. Their financing and health needs will be immense and must be addressed with right-sized, long-term solutions for greater resiliency,” said Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of FINCA International.
I am confident that, together, we can help them prevail against this immense challenge and, if we respond appropriately, we will emerge stronger and more united as a global community.
To donate to the FINCA Emergency Response Fund, visit www.FINCA.org/emergency. Your support today is more valuable 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.