Press Release: FINCA International Launches Emergency Fund in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
FINCA International, a pioneer in microfinance and social enterprise, announced today the launch of the FINCA 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 and social enterprises in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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—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 and investments in 44 countries, FINCA International 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), an early-stage impact investor (FINCA Ventures) and a last-mile distributor of clean energy products (BrightLife), 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 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 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 learn more about the FINCA Emergency Response Fund or to make a charitable donation, visit www.FINCA.org/emergencyfund.
Photo courtesy of klndonnelly.