Oikocredit foundation creates coronavirus solidarity fund
With more government measures in place to combat the spread of Covid-19, many small business in Africa, Asia and Latin America are struggling to find the means to comply with regulations. To support these businesses, Oikocredit’s foundation has launched a coronavirus solidarity fund.
Increased costs to comply with government measures
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, governments across the globe are putting measures in place to ‘flatten the curve’ to ensure health services aren’t overwhelmed by coronavirus cases and to avert an even more catastrophic loss of life.
Depending on the region, regulations that have been put in place include full or limited lockdown with restrictions on mobility and social gatherings, social distancing and curfews. Businesses that are allowed to stay open can be required to comply with additional sanitation and hygiene requirements which require additional investments.
Helping businesses stay afloat
Many of Oikocredit’s partner’s clients are micro and small enterprises serving low-income communities. While the Covid-19 crisis has already impacted their businesses, for some of them there is still a possibility to keep their enterprises going by complying with local sanitation and hygiene regulations. The cost of the sanitation materials and, in some cases, the protective gear is an additional burden that can put strain on already dwindling resources.
Recognising this, the Oikocredit International Support Foundation (ISUP) is putting € 25,000 into a coronavirus solidarity fund. The aim is to support end clients of Oikocredit’s microfinance partners in meeting the new regulations that would allow their businesses to stay open. The fund will support emergency needs and the purchase of sanitation equipment and materials, or any other items required to meet local government standards and keep their businesses open.
How it works
Microfinance partners who want to apply for funds to support their clients need to fulfil a number of criteria. Oikocredit partners who are considering applying for the fund can reach out to their dedicated Oikocredit staff member to learn about the fund and the criteria.