1 April 2020
AFI has launched the AFI COVID-19 Policy Response, a comprehensive set of quick, needs-based, highly practical and high-impact interventions that will enable the implementation of rapid response policies and regulations in countries highly impacted by the global economic downturn as a result of the spread of the disease.
“Financial inclusion is an impactful policy choice to respond to economic crisis of this magnitude. As we have learned over the past 12 years, with every crisis there is also opportunity and, in these extraordinary times, our answer is the launch of AFI COVID-19 Policy Response,” AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig explained the organization’s assistance to member institutions, close to 100 central banks, ministries and other regulators in developing and emerging countries.
Among the measures adopted is the collection of data and examples of effective policy responses and solutions enacted by AFI members, as well as regular virtual exchanges with member institutions and the development of concepts for short- and medium-term policies. AFI is also holding discussions with potential funders and engaging in global communications outreach on financial inclusion solutions that address the ongoing crisis.
In addition, AFI is preparing to conduct a Rapid Member Needs Assessment, facilitate dialogue and knowledge sharing among members, as well as develop and adopt network-wide Rapid Response Policy Guidelines at the next AFI Global Policy Forum.
Dr. Hannig explained that the Response will further support in-country work by providing a combination of small, quick and flexible grants to member institutions, tailored capacity building and advisory services, as well as short-term emergency packages and medium-term recovery support.
Financial regulators across AFI network are often among the few institutions in their respective countries that have the capacity to address enormous challenges of the kind that has been caused by the spread of COVID-19, AFI Executive Director added.
“We will quickly have to find appropriate short and medium-term solutions to stabilize economies, rescue many MSMEs and protect the most vulnerable groups,” Hannig said. “This is an exceptional emergency that requires exceptional responses.”
AFI’s COVID-19 Policy Response aims to deliver systematic, effective, and coordinated policy responses to help AFI members mitigate the effects of COVID-19 by implementing financial inclusion policies.
The first global activity organized as part of the Response is a world-wide webinar for all Working Group members to be held on 6 April 2020.
For more details on the Response, including comprehensive dashboard on the AFI members’ policy responses addressing COVID-19 impact, please visit AFI’s website.
AFI is the world’s leading organization on financial inclusion policy and regulation. Roughly 100 member institutions make up the AFI network including central banks, ministries of finance and other financial regulators from over 80 developing and emerging countries. AFI works on empowering policymakers to increase access and usage of quality financial services for the underserved through formulation, implementation and global advocacy of sustainable and inclusive policies.