Micro, small, and medium enterprises are being severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a response to the severe economic implications of this crisis, state and federal governments around the world are enacting relief programs to aid small firms, which include special credit lines, forgivable loans, and job retention schemes.
This survey aims to gather information on a representative sample of 1,000 respondents to understand how they are affected by the COVID-19 crisis, how well they follow mitigation measures, their perception of the crisis and government action and impact on children's education. The panel of respondents will be followed every month during the time of the crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens lives and livelihoods, and, with that, has created immediate challenges for institutions that serve affected communities. This study focuses on implications for local microfinance institutions in Pakistan, a country with a mature microfinance sector, serving a large number of households. The institutions serve populations poorly-served by traditional commercial banks, helping customers invest in microenterprises, save, and maintain liquidity.
- On average, week-on-week sales and household income both fell by about 90%.
- Households’ primary immediate concern in early April became how to secure food. As a result, 70% of the sample of current microfinance borrowers reported that they could not repay their loans; loan officers anticipated a repayment rate of just 34% in April 2020.
- Researchers build from the results to argue that COVID-19 represents a crisis for microfinance in low-income communities. It is also a chance to consider the future of microfinance, and researchers suggest insights for policy reform.
Providing health information is a non-pharmaceutical intervention designed to reduce disease transmission and infection risk by encouraging behavior change. But does knowledge change behavior? We test whether coronavirus health knowledge promotes protective risk mitigation behaviors early in the COVID-19 pandemic across four African countries (Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania).