It is hard to believe it has been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Kenya, forcing us to make many unanticipated adjustments about the way we worked.
Most significantly, we had to shift to remote working. One year down the line, I am immensely proud of our team for staying the course so far and maintaining our momentum despite the disruption of COVID-19.
On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19th, 2020, Researcher Julie Zollmann defied the COVID-imposed absence of a live audience to deliver FSD Kenya’s 2020 Public annual lecture on inclusive finance, via YouTube from the University of Nairobi’s Chandaria Auditorium.
When we spoke with Benson in April, he was feeling optimistic about getting through the COVID-19 crisis unscathed. He worked in a factory that manufactured paper products, and toilet tissue was in high demand. He was sure he would keep his job. In June, like many of our respondents, his outlook was gloomier.
After three months of Covid-19 restrictions, Jennifer’s economic options have run out. She is five months pregnant, and the baby’s father has blocked her calls. She hasn’t been able to pay rent in three months and worries that she and her children are on the verge of eviction.
Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, FSD Kenya and BFA Global have been working to understand the human impacts—social, financial, and economic—by conducting qualitative phone interviews with previous respondents from the Kenya Financial Diaries.
The inability of low-income households to access quality healthcare is a major challenge in dealing with unanticipated shocks. The challenge is bigger for rural households. Small rural pharmacies stock almost entirely generic medicines because these are the products that patients can afford.