The will of microfinance institutions to maintain their activities during Covid-19 crisis

03 February 2021 Covid-19 crisis
The will of microfinance institutions to maintain their activities during Covid-19 crisis

ADA, Inpulse and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation have collaborated to monitor and analyse the effects of the Covid-19 crisis for their partner microfinance institutions worldwide.

This monitoring was carried out regularly throughout the year 2020 in order to have a better vision of the situation's evolution. Through this regular and in-depth analysis, we hope to contribute, at our level, to the construction of strategies and solutions tailored to the needs of our partners, as well as to the diffusion and exchange of information between the different players in the sector.

Following the fourth round of surveys in October which gathered the views of 73 MFIs around the world, ADA, Inpulse and the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation present the results of a fifth joint round of surveys.

Responses were collected in the second half of December from 74 microfinance institutions (MFIs) located in 42 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EAC28%), Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA-26%), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC-23%), South Asia (14%), and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA-9%).

At the same time, the major constraint that remained was the difficulty in collecting loan repayments, which implied increasing the portfolio at risk. This last point is still valid at year-end, and three quarters of respondents still report an increase in RAP. In added to this is the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in the world in the fall of 2020, as evidenced by the responses gathered in December 2020. The epidemic containment measures taken according to local contexts may once again have consequences on the activities of MFIs and their clients, and a return to normalcy is not yet on the agenda. However, these new complications and their implications are not new.

Thus, they have limited impact on MFIs' risk indicators. The stability of the increase in PAR, as well as in recovery levels, does not reflect a further major deterioration in MFIs' financial situation. This relative balance also corresponds to the MFIs' state of mind as they approach 2021. Despite an unstable context and all the obstacles it entails, the vast majority of our partners expect their activity to grow in the new year, in terms of both portfolio volume and the number of clients. This confidence, which was already evident in the surveys conducted over the summer, is a further sign of the resilience of these institutions.