women standing next to each other
COVID-19 Update

Since January, VisionFund International has been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and its effects on livelihoods, children and families. As of April 2020, COVID-19 has been identified in all 28 of our country contexts, with especially severe implications for those living at or below the poverty line. Families living in rural poverty are substantially less likely to be able to access the social protections and healthcare required to stave off the pandemic, potentially leaving them unable to recover from the economic shock of the COVID-19 from family member or business loss.

Our focus at this time is centered in faith around our clients and their children, and ensuring that we continue to keep our promise to support the livelihoods of  vulnerable families around the world. VisionFund is continuing to monitor and assess individual country contexts to protect clients, staff and preserve business continuity, and is taking appropriate action in country in coordination with our parent organisation, World Vision International. We are complying with government regulations to COVID-19 in all our affected country contexts, and are in regular contact with our many partners and donors as we begin to focus our operations towards preserving a strong VisionFund through all seasons. Our staff are demonstrating enormous faith and resilience in the face of operating challenges in their love and care for clients, and supporting them through these difficult times is at the core of our COVID-19 response.

Through past experience with emergency situations, VisionFund has developed a set of tools and methods which we term ‘Recovery Lending.’ Recovery Lending provides the financial resources to help our clients and their communities maintain or recover their livelihoods following disaster. The Recovery Lending approach fills a gap in community resilience and relief efforts by financially empowering individuals and community groups to restore livelihoods, markets and value chains by providing meaningful amounts of finance needed to restore an economic activity; or diversify to a new one if needed. It shows how a microfinance institution’s intimate knowledge of the economic life of the communities it serves and its presence in these communities makes such a finessed approach possible. We are working to develop Recovery Lending products, to deploy at the right time for all our contexts, in order to minimise the effects of economic shock for our clients.

We also are remaining prayerful and true to our Christian identity, which has been a guiding light for us during these unprecedented times. We pray for all those affected by COVID-19, as well as those offering treatment, education and support. And we pray that VisionFund, as a Network, will continue to come together to carry out the work of Christ, and bear witness to His name.

World Vision staff Handwashing

Caring for our clients during COVID-19

The effects of COVID-19 on human health and the projections of numbers affected are frightening. For VisionFund this is a call to action: to concentrate all our expertise, skills, and resources to preserve livelihoods during this crisis, and ensure the security of livelihoods and the wellbeing of children now, in the foreseeable future, and for the long-term. As part of World Vision’s livelihoods programming, we are ready to respond in partnership.

Savings group of women in circle in Zambia

Disaster Recovery Lending

As VisionFund walks with clients during the troubling and disrupting pandemic of COVID-19, it is evident that clients' livelihoods will be severely impacted. Our lessons learnt from recovery lending from previous disasters, such as Typhoon Haiyan and El Nino, are informing our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Out of Time Report Cover

Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks

Millions of parents and caregivers have lost incomes and jobs due to COVID-19, forcing them to expose their children to harmful and dangerous circumstances such as begging or child marriage. World Vision has conducted rapid assessments in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia confirming alarming predictions of increased child hunger, violence, and poverty due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Client Buwama

Africa MFI Survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on Clients

As a result of COVID-19, VisionFund sought to learn more about how the pandemic is affecting clients in eight African VisionFund MFIs. Determine the impact of COVID-19 on client’s businesses, spending patterns, income, and resilience

Refugee group moyo

Impact of COVID-19 on Refugee Saving Groups

Uganda

A small survey was undertaken by VisionFund Uganda (VFU) field officers between 24 April and 19 May, 2020 of refugees and host community savings group (SG) members in West Nile, Uganda.