HOW WE'RE RESPONDING
In response to the massive crisis currently crushing millions in India, Opportunity and our partners are immediately pivoting our trusted local microfinance presence to provide last-mile health delivery and emergency relief to those being hit the hardest. The first phase response will work through our current partner offices and staff with an established current outreach of 4 million clients and their families.
To address the severe and immediate health risks facing Opportunity clients, we are using our existing trusted partner network to:
- Prevent infections in vulnerable populations by tackling rampant misinformation through SMS, WhatsApp, comics, posters, voice messages, and in-person meetings where possible.
- Distribute food ration kits and medicine to those with mild symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 so they can isolate safely.
- Set up a temporary ambulance service and basic care beds with oxygen at existing branch offices for people with worsening COVID-19 symptoms.
- Provide remote care through telemedicine so that families can manage COVID-19 cases and mental health at home.
- Expedite mass vaccinations to improve immunity by collaborating with local governments to organize and facilitate vaccination camps.
In addition, we continue to address the needs of clients around the world who are still struggling with the long-term effects of the pandemic. Our primary goal is to help our clients and partners survive this incredibly difficult season. In this unprecedented time, we are working to ensure that our clients stay safe, partners stay protected, schools stay open, and financial partners stay afloat.
Read and watch more below.
Opportunity International and COVID-19
May 26, 2021
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: A Microfinance Network Responds to the Devastating Reality of COVID-19 in India
Opportunity International has built a robust network of microfinance partners throughout India. Our local teams know our clients — and our clients trust our teams. Now, in the face of disaster, we are using these trusted partners to help our clients survive and to deliver emergency relief to those being hit the hardest.
In this insightful reflection for NextBillion, CEO Atul Tandon shares his thoughts about the COVID-19 crisis—and Opportunity International's rapid response—in his home country of India.
May 24, 2021
With his friends, colleagues, and clients suffering in the current COVID-19 outbreak crisis in India, Opportunity International CEO Atul Tandon concluded: Extraordinary situations demand extraordinary responses. Read his thoughts and learn more about Opportunity's response to this disaster.
May 6, 2021
OPPORTUNITY INTERNATIONAL LEVERAGES NETWORK ACROSS INDIA TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY COVID-19 RELIEF TO MILLIONS
Read the press release about our emergency response in India. Amid the world's worst COVID-19 outbreak, Opportunity International is working with our community-based microfinance partners to provide emergency relief to vulnerable communities where essential health services are impaired.
Learn how Opportunity International is responding to the immediate and severe needs of families in India and how you can be part of this emergency response.
January 29, 2021
By: Atul Tandon
CEO Atul Tandon reflected on lessons learned in 2020 and discussed how we can move forward after an impossibly challenging year.
January 12, 2021
By: Atul Tandon
For those living in extreme poverty, things are going to get worse. The year ahead will be more difficult than the one we have just weathered, and, as World Food Programme president David Beasley shared, "our hardest work is yet to come."
September 21, 2020
By: Atul Tandon
This year's Gates Report, unlike those in years past, is far less optimistic and far more candid. For the first time in decades, our progress is moving in the wrong direction.
August 7, 2020
By: Atul Tandon
Shutdowns and movement restrictions around the world caused dramatic economic implications—leaving millions of people with greatly reduced incomes, or no way to earn a living at all. And as a result of this economic stagnation, we are now facing severe global hunger—especially for children in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
August 5, 2020
Join a panel of our field experts as they answer your questions about how we’re serving women and girls across our programs and, more than ever, how they need your help during COVID-19.
June 30, 2020
In pre-COVID-19 interviews, 68% of the refugees interviewed were concerned about food price increases. When we repeated the interviews two weeks later, a week after lock down began, these fears were being realized, with 91% of respondents reporting an increase in food prices.
June 11, 2020
Opportunity CEO Atul Tandon connected with microfinance expert Larry Reed to discuss how Opportunity is responding to the challenges faced by its 17 million clients around the world.
May 14, 2020
by Sam Bickersteth and Deborah Foy, Opportunity International
The following post was originally published on LinkedIn on May 12, 2020. It was written by Sam Bickersteth and Deborah Foy are respectively Chief Executive and Senior Advisor of Opportunity International UK. The COVID-19 crisis has already hit the poor hard, and will hit them harder. Microfinance Institutions are close to affected groups and provide an essential lifeline - but are themselves under threat as deposits fall and the poor struggle with repayments. Supporting the financial institutions…
April 28, 2020
by Atul Tandon
Amid so much darkness, there are small glimmers of light. Because of you, families who could have already crumbled under the economic shock caused by COVID-19 have some safety – a chance to survive, rebuild, and thrive once again. More than 12 million families have savings accounts, 5.7 million have access to digital banking, and all have local Opportunity staff who care deeply about their wellbeing. I think about clients like Linda Nyarko in Ghana, a woman who has inspired me and so many others.…
April 27, 2020
by Atul Tandon
As we all learn to navigate the health, economic, and social changes caused by COVID-19, I find myself thinking often of our clients and neighbors living in extreme poverty. The reality for those living on less than $2 a day is unimaginable—without access to clean water and sanitation, already limited economic opportunities, and notably absent healthcare infrastructure, Opportunity clients are bracing for disaster. This is especially true in my home country of India, where the government-mandated…
March 25, 2020
Webinar: COVID-19 Rapid Response
Opportunity's U.S. Board Chair LeAnn Pope interviewed CEO Atul Tandon and Africa Regional Director Tineyi Mawocha about the effects of the coronavirus on our clients. Learn how COVID-19 has impacted communities in Africa—and what our team is doing to prepare.
Education Finance and COVID-19
March 3, 2021
Starting in September 2020, schools began limited reopening in some of the countries in which EduFinance works, leading up to year-end. However, even limited reopening plans often faced challenges.
October 12, 2020
Recognizing that in-person professional development training for staff would not be possible for an extended period, Opportunity’s EduFinance team decided launched pilot e-learning modules to make them widely available as quickly as possible.
June 4, 2020
Power Chat: Atul Tandon and Renee McAlpin at the Ideagen Global Innovation 2030 Digital Summit
Atul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International spoke with Renee McAlpin, Manger of EduQuality Programme at Opportunity EduFinance about COVID-19's impact on students and schools — and where we go from here — at the Annual Ideagen® Global Innovation 2030 Digital Summit.
April 15, 2020
Webinar: COVID-19 Rapid Response: Education Finance
Opportunity’s Head of Education Finance, Andrew McCusker, and Head Education Specialist from East Africa, Robinah Zawedde, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on education around the world and how we are pivoting to provide services during this critical time.
March 31, 2020
by Opportunity Edufinance
It started with just a handful of school closures in countries where we operate. Within 48 hours, we were faced with nationwide school closures in all eight countries due to COVID-19 prevention and containment measures. UNESCO consolidated information on COVID-19's global impact on education, with statistics that were hard to fathom. 165 countries with nationwide school closures affecting more than 1.5 billion learners 87% of the global learner population enrolled at the start of March is suddenly…
Agriculture Finance and COVID-19
June 26, 2020
Through our work with the Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) in Malawi, we have adapted the existing infrastructure in our pilot with Opportunity International (OI) to collect data and drive local insights to address COVID-19.
May 6, 2020
Webinar: COVID-19 Rapid Response: Agriculture Finance
Opportunity’s Head of Agriculture Finance Tim Strong was joined by Isaac Gyesi, who leads agribusiness in Ghana, to discuss how farmers are coping with the pandemic and what their teams are doing to keep activity going so we don't miss this critical harvest season.
April 28, 2020
by Heather Kaczrowski
The Lifeline of Africa | What They Face | Opportunity's Response At the start of the lockdown in Illinois, I went to the grocery store. For the first time, I found myself anxious about food supply for my household and thinking through the ramifications of a crisis. For the first time, while walking through the aisles, I realized my fleeting feelings were just a fragment of the vulnerability and uncertainty that so many families around the world endure every day of their lives. Unlike so many of…
Technology, DFS, and COVID-19
September 14, 2020
By: Rosa Wang
The pandemic has disrupted nearly everything for our clients, but it has also presented unique opportunities for our work. We believe that the current sense of urgency underscored by the global pandemic can be harnessed to accelerate the journey to a client-focused digital future.
May 27, 2020
COVID-19 Rapid Response: Digital Financial Services
Listen to Rosa Wang, Head of DFS, and Kwaku Acheampong, Head of Financial Inclusion at Sinapi Aba Trust in Ghana, discuss the role technology is playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 31, 2020
Webinar: COVID-19 and Technology
Atul Tandon joined George Sifakis, Global CEO of Ideagen, and Charu Adesnik, Deputy Director of the Cisco Foundation, on LinkedIn Live for a conversation about how Opportunity International and our partners are responding to COVID-19.
Rapid Response Fund: Survive to Thrive
Your gift will fund critical needs to keep clients and partners afloat so they can survive the pandemic today and once again thrive tomorrow. Will you join us in our rapid response efforts?