As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to share with you my latest communication with the Accion team. While we’re all working hard at Accion to take the next steps necessary to continue to help low-income businesses and families around the world, we know we couldn’t do this work without your support.
I hope you and your families are staying safe during these extraordinarily challenging times. Less than one month ago, our Board of Directors reviewed our exciting, ambitious plans for the year. But now, we, and the rest of the world, are adjusting to wildly changed circumstances and, unfortunately, the situation will become more challenging before it gets better. The dust is far from settled.
Our offices worldwide remain closed until further notice, at least for another month, and they will only reopen when local public health authorities say it is safe. As we adjust to working from home, I’ve asked all our managers to be flexible when staff may need some extra time to tend to personal matters. Many of you have become stay-at-home schoolteachers or taken on new responsibilities as caregivers, and that may feel like a second full-time job on its own. I hope we can all be considerate of one another as we sort this through.
Across Accion, our teams are assessing how the crisis is affecting our partners and the people we serve – and how we can best help. We know that disasters have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable – particularly in low-income areas with weak healthcare infrastructure and modest living conditions. Resilience for the most vulnerable is critical, and the financial tools we help provide can make a meaningful difference.
With Accion’s global insight and expertise in fintech and digital transformation, we are well-positioned to help our partners get through these extraordinary times. We are systematically working with every one of our partners to ensure they are protecting their people, sharing best practices, assessing short and long-term risks, building contingency plans, and reforecasting revenues, costs, and cash flows. And, in early conversations, our donors have indicated their flexibility to redirect their grant funding where it makes sense. In the weeks to come, we will share much of this with you in a series of internal webinars. Further, where possible, we will share this publicly to benefit the broader financial inclusion community. Though we may need to adjust some of our projects, we believe, in the longer run, this crisis may actually accelerate adoption of fintech models, digital financial services, and the digital transformation of financial service providers.
Accion remains a strong, healthy organization and our Board, our donors and co-investors have strongly reaffirmed their commitment to our work. We’re fortunate to have the resources needed to maintain our department budgets as we work to support our partners and their clients in responding to these new circumstances.
Our work is more urgent than ever.
Thank you for all that you do. I am honored to work with you.