InM Covid-19 Research- 4

Covid-19 and MFIs in Bangladesh: Innovations in Resilience Building

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted nearly everyone across the world, but its impacts are particularly acute for the people in poverty. The economic impact of Covid-19 is more severe than most past crises and this is a highly infectious disease relative to past major disease outbreaks. Still, it is uncertain exactly when the pandemic will be over and how long its effects will last. The key issue for the MFIs is to resume their normal operations at the earliest opportunity. During past emergencies such as natural disasters, the MFIs in Bangladesh have shown remarkable resilience and have turned around within a short span of time. But the present Covid-19 crisis is different from the earlier crises. Earlier crises tended to impact the MFI operations at a regional scale (e.g. in places where natural calamities hit), enabling more vibrant areas to cross-subsidise the negatively impacted regions. The duration of the impact was also much better anticipated, enabling contingency plans to be prepared and funded. However, these flexibilities are mostly absent in the present Covid-19 crisis as it is a universal disaster affecting the entire country. Read More