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© 2021 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Responding to COVID-19

Learn how Opportunity's clients, partners, and staff are being impacted by the coronavirus—and stay updated on our latest response plans.

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. 

Support these emergency response initiatives in India now »

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.

Read more »

 

May 24, 2021

EXTRAORDINARY SITUATIONS DEMAND EXTRAORDINARY RESPONSES: UPDATES ON THE COVID CRISIS IN INDIA

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.

Read the press blog »

 

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.

Read the press release »

 

RAPID RESPONSE IN INDIA

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.

Read now »

 

January 29, 2021

A PANDEMIC AT OUR DOOR

By: Atul Tandon

CEO Atul Tandon reflected on lessons learned in 2020 and discussed how we can move forward after an impossibly challenging year.

Read now »

 

January 12, 2021

THE PANDEMICS WE DON'T SEE

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."

Read now »

 

September 21, 2020

MUTUALLY EXACERBATING CATASTROPHES: RESPONDING TO THE GATES GOALKEEPERS REPORT

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.

Read now »

 

August 7, 2020

FACING A GLOBAL HUNGER CRISIS

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.

Read now »

 

August 5, 2020

COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE: WOMEN AND GIRLS WEBINAR

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.

Register now »

 

June 30, 2020

RISE: REFUGEES AND COVID-19: IMPACT ON FOOD PRICES, CONSUMPTION, AND DISTRIBUTION

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.

Read the publication »

 

June 11, 2020 

SURVIVE TO THRIVE — A CONVERSATION WITH LARRY REED

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. 

Read or watch the interview »

 

May 14, 2020

FINDING A LIFELINE FOR THE POOR AND THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT SERVE THEM

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…

Read More »

 

April 28, 2020

REFLECTIONS ON DAILY BREAD

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.…

Read More »

 

April 27, 2020

A SHINING LIGHT IN A DARK SEASON

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…

Read More »

 

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.  

Listen to the webinar recording »

 


Education Finance and COVID-19

March 3, 2021

WHAT WE KNOW (AND DON’T KNOW) ABOUT SCHOOL REOPENING PLANS

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.

Read now »

 

October 12, 2020

RAMPING UP E-LEARNING DURING THE PANDEMIC

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.

Read now »

 

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.

Listen to the conversation »

 

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.

Listen to the Webinar Recording »

 

March 31, 2020

UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS AT STAKE FOR SCHOOLS DURING COVID-19

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…

Read More »


Agriculture Finance and COVID-19

June 26, 2020

Looking For Equity After COVID-19? Prioritize African Women

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. 

Read the article »

 

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. 

Listen to the Webinar Recording »

 

April 28, 2020

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN EMPTY GRAIN SILO DURING COVID-19

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…

Read more »


Technology, DFS, and COVID-19

September 14, 2020

DIGITAL FINANCE IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19

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.

Read now »

 

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.

Listen to the webinar recording »

 

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.  

Listen to the conversation » 


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?

Donate Now »

 

 

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