COVID-19 CoP Finance & Outreach

First call CoP Finance & Outreach – May 20, 2020

On May 20, 2020, the first online meeting of the Food security and COVID-19 CoP on Finance & Outreach was organized by convener NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance. To prevent hunger in the SSA and SEA region, the CoP Finance & Outreach looks at the financing solutions available for local MSMEs and smallholder cooperatives in the nutrition, agri & food supply chain in emerging markets. During this first meeting the following organizations participated: ICCO, Solidaridad, Agriterra, 2SCALE, GAIN, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), SNV, Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Oxfam. The meeting was co-convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MinFA) and the CoP is supported by the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP).

During this meeting, discussion served as input for the convener to propose a draft thematic agenda related to the short-term COVID-19 response.

Thematic agenda CoP Finance & Outreach

Related to short term Covid-19 crisis response:

  1. Collaborate to set criteria for funding facilities initiated by impact investors, DFIs, and multilateral organizations to increase availability of smaller sized tickets for financially healthy local MSMEs and smallholder cooperatives.
  2. Collaborate on ground level to roll-out and promote 2scale’s crowdfunding platform, starting with priority countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina-Faso and Ivory Coast. Second phase, is to link with Solidaridad’s PlusPlus platform to push smaller sized tickets towards recovery of MSMEs.
  3. Collaborate to find Financial Service Providers (FSPs) willing to push immediate liquidity in the supply- and value chain, ranging from farm-input purchasing level, SMEs (in the Agri sector) to final consumer products on (super)market shelves. This immediate liquidity is required to prevent food shortages, hunger and the defaulting of many local MSMEs.
  4. Collaborate to set up (emergency) fund, possibly backed by guarantees/capital from MoFA, with a pipeline built by this group to support investees (MSMEs, cooperatives), programs, supply chains and digitally enabled solutions.

Follow-up

As a follow-up to this meeting participants also decided to map their country presence to decide on a number of priority countries for joint action.

As discussed in the meeting, DFIs and Investors in microfinance are already working together to combat the impact of Covid-19 on local economies in developing countries. The CoP Finance & Outreach will liaise with other Dutch private sector players, including NpM’s member base (Triodos, Oikocredit, FMO, Triple Jump, Rabobank, and others) to exchange ideas, knowledge, tools, contacts.

Selection of funds

A selection was made of Dutch and International Funds and Investor Actions in response to the Covid-19 crisis:

  • Oikocredit - Oikocredit International Support Foundation (ISUP) has created a coronavirus solidarity fund to support end clients. (announcement)
  • Acumen, CDC, responsAbility, Shell Foundation, and others - Developed the EUR 100 million COVID-19 Energy Access Relief Fund. (website)
  • Impact Investor MoU for Debt Refinancing Coordination - BlueOrchard, Developing World Markets, Incofin, Microvest, Oikocredit, responsAbility, Triodos IM, Triple Jump and Symbiotics have signed an MoU for increased coordination in response to COVID-19. Impact fund managers are invited to join this initiative. (press release)
  • NpM members Investor Statement - The Dutch emerging market impact investors, as members of the NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, speak out on Covid-19 through an Investor Statement, in support of those who are most affected in emerging markets. (press release)
  • Forum for the financial inclusion sector to discuss responses to COVID-19 - Covid-finclusion.org is a collaborative project between the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, and the SPTF to discuss responses to COVID-19. (website)

More information

Please follow the NpM page on Linkedin for more news, articles and webinars related to initiatives from the Inclusive Finance sector in response to the Covid-19 crisis in emerging markets.