COVID-19 continues to cause disruptions to not only the microfinance sector but local economy as a whole. Specifically to the microfinance sector, client businesses have already been affected by disruptions to supply chains and markets for goods/services arising from border closures, restriction of movement and closure of non-essential businesses.
As clients seek to cope with the pandemic, most have turned to using the capital of their businesses to meet short-term consumption needs. This has eroded the capital of their businesses and has led them to experience repayment challenges while others may completely go out of business.
For most clients served by MFIs, access to financial services has been restricted during the period of the pandemic due to the low level of digitization of the institutions that serve this client segment since such initiatives are often expensive and high risk for microfinance institutions.