The COVID-19 pandemic, termed ‘the Great Disruption’ hit the global economy in 2020 and was defined by divergent impact within and between economies. 2021 is already being defined by multispeed and divergent recovery in the global and local economies.
Kenya has received world-wide recognition as leader in financial innovation. This is a laudable achievement because finance holds the potential to unlock solutions to the real-world problems that Kenyans face in their daily lives.
In 2019, FSD Kenya and Turaco – a Kenyan microinsurtech startup providing simple, low-cost health and life insurance products to emerging market consumers – collaborated on a three-month pilot project in with a leading digital lender in Kenya. The study found that 80% of respondents were most interested in an in-patient cover to cushion the cost of hospital admissions, saying getting such insurance for free is incentive enough to repay their loans on time. Almost 50% of the treatment group opted in to having insurance payments added to their future loans, citing the idea of low-cost insurance from a financial service provider they know and trust as a key incentive.
In mid-July we interviewed a subset of FSD Kenya/CARE’s Building Livelihoods programme beneficiaries in Northern Kenya to understand the extent to which resources built up through the programme are supporting resilience of beneficiary households during COVID-19, and how these compare and interact with traditional pastoralist coping mechanisms.