Most Africans were unprepared for the impact of COVID-19 on their financial health and the question is how long it will take them to recover
Citizens are considered financially healthy when there daily financial systems allow then to be resilient and pursue opportunities over time. Before the impact of COVID-19, Gallup asked people how long they could live if their income stopped – by drawing on reserves or selling something. The percentage of people who said their resources would last less than one month was 51% in Chile, 47% in Kenya and 61% in Vietnam. This finding has been corroborated across a number of other studies. Most of the world lack the resources to last even one month without income.
And this is already becoming evident in the current pandemic. Research from BFA Global since the spread of COVID-19 found that for nearly a quarter of adults surveyed across Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and the United States, incomes have decreased significantly. More than half of adults surveyed thought that COVID-19 will adversely affect their financial well-being.
How can governments, private sector and development partners around the world respond?
This was the focus of the second webinar in Cenfri’s webinar series with the Digital Frontiers Institute (DFI) exploring the impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods in Africa.
Impact of COVID-19 on financial health
Drawing on research from insight2impact, FSD Kenya and BFA Global, the webinar explored the impact of COVID-19 on financial health in developed and emerging economies. It looked outside of Africa, to Asia and the US, where the impact of COVID-19 has been felt for longer.
It was an interactive format with short presentations from the panel, followed by a Q&A session to stimulate ideas around appropriate responses. Questions were sent ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure they were addressed during the webinar.
It was moderated by Cenfri’s Director of Insights and insight2impact (i2i) programme lead Hennie Bester and featured the following panellists:
If you’re interested in finding out more about this work, please contact Eden D’Oliveira.