10 September 2020
Applause broke out after AFI’s membership council voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Statement on Post-COVID-19 Recovery on 9 September, enhancing the network’s commitments to achieve financial inclusion goals following the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the statement, members must develop and implement financial inclusion policies to facilitate recovery and resilience as well as restore sustainable financial inclusion in the network post-COVID-19 pandemic. Cross-agency collaboration with other regulators and government, promoting relevant technological innovations and leveraging public and private sector collaboration all are among the specific measures outlined.
Members also “commit to build institutional preparedness to devise and implement policy responses that facilitate recovery and build resilience and be ready to leverage and upscale opportunities for implementing policy solutions to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic”.
Despite the challenges of operating in varying time zones, the meeting – held both virtually and with a physical presence from AFI staff in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – drew members from all regions covered by the network.
Members have already made significant headway in staving off the worst of COVID-19’s impacts on economies and financial systems, as outlined in the AFI COVID-19 Policy Responses Dashboard. The dashboard, recently described as among the top five COVID-19 dashboards globally, provides time-sensitive policy and regulatory guidance to AFI members and their peers outside the network.
Its statement on post-COVID-19 recovery compliments and builds on the success of the dashboard to ensure long-term sustainable access and usage to formal financial services by groups that have been heavily affected by the ongoing pandemic, particularly vulnerable populations such as women, youth, forcibly displaced persons and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.