As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and create growing uncertainty about its global consequences, we at the Mastercard Foundation’s Fund for Rural Prosperity would like to reinforce our commitment towards ensuring that financial services deliver value to people living in - and connected with - the rural economy in sub-Saharan Africa, help them through crises and enable them to prosper.
We are living in an era that calls for extraordinary measures to address unprecedented circumstances. The Fund for Rural Prosperity has activated business continuity measures to keep our operations running and minimize negative impact on our team as well as our partners.
All work-related travel has been suspended until further notice, with our team members presently working from home across various locations in Africa and internationally. We are also leveraging technology to maintain active communication between ourselves and with our partners.
At the same time, we recognise that the Fund for Rural Prosperity has been exceedingly fortunate to be able to seamlessly transition to remote working without the complexities that others face - including the need to maintain customer support and field team operations in certain instances. We are continuously tracking the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the advice provided by public authorities around the world as well as the possible impact on our business and that of our partners.
We are fully prepared to back participants of the Fund for Rural Prosperity through this period and have opened lines of conversation with all the companies in our portfolio. Well aware of the varying levels of preparedness and vulnerability across different organizations, we are deeply proud that many of our funding recipients have been able to promptly activate crisis responses in support of their workforces and key stakeholders.
The Fund for Rural Prosperity is contributing towards implementation of the recently-initiated
Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, which aims to assist institutions and communities to withstand and respond to the initial effects of this pandemic while strengthening their resilience in the longer term.
We have also embarked on a series of interactions with inclusive finance industry peers to share initial learnings emerging from these unprecedented times and to assess prospects for coordinated initiatives that could be undertaken under the prevailing circumstances.
Together, we hope to overcome this global challenge soon.