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That is the conclusion of the Rapid Impact Assessment conducted by Dalberg for FMO in Georgia, Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana. In collaboration with some of our Financial Institution clients in these countries, FMO wanted to understand the extent of the challenges that COVID-19 creates for these important businesses: Jointly they provide for 62% to 86% of all jobs in these countries. And thus the health these MSMEs has a direct impact on the livelihoods of a majority of citizens in these countries.
By itself, the conclusion that MSMEs are in distress was to be expected. Therefore, the Rapid Impact Assessment focused on understanding the problem better and developing appropriate solutions for a transition to more resilient business in the medium-term, in addition to short-term COVID-19 responses that FMO has already mobilised with its partners.
The approximate 900 phone interviews with MSMEs and additional in-country research led to clear outcomes (albeit with important nuances across countries):
More details are provided in the slide deck below (click on the image to open the PDF). FMO will be taking this work and insights into account while further developing its response to COVID in FMO focus markets.
The Rapid Impact Assessment was conducted by Dalberg and based on 30-minute phone interviews conducted with ~150 MSMEs in each country from June until end of August. They were selected in cooperation with one or more of FMO’s Financial Institutions clients. Additionally, in-country stakeholder interviews and desk research was conducted to validate the survey findings and add further explanations to the results.
Six FMO countries were selected to focus the review on: Georgia and Jordan (ECA) as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana (Africa). Each country reacted to COVID-19 differently and will thus help to understand how COVID results in different needs for support, but all have FMO-Financial Institutions clients and are in focus of our public funds such as MASSIF (that funded the review) and NASIRA.