Microfinancing at work in the Philippines after the typhoons

Mary is a Kiva Fellow who is currently in the Philippines. She works with ASKI, one of the Kiva's local microfinance partners. ASKI operates 24 branches of which Ilagan, Tugugraro and Cayaun were the hardest hit by the recent typhoons.

Of the 60,037 ASKI Clients, 5,943 (about 10%) were affected by the typhoons. The total damage, both personal and businesses amounts to US$1,405,808...

She wrote me an update:

The standing crops were damaged due to “VERY” strong wind. Rice crops were totally damaged and lost. Vegetables crops and fishing business were totally washed out... The above villages are still in recovery especially in the village of Antagan 1 & 2 which were the most affected.

The typhoon caused a lot of damages in the people's livelihood. Most of their ricefields which were ready to harvest, were totally wash out due to flash floods. Hundreds of cows and carabaos were also found dead.

ASKI is made up of 2 arms: an Micro Finance Institute and a foundation. When things like the typhoon hits, the MFI taps on the shoulders of the Foundation so they can offer as many contingencies as possible to lenders and still remain solvent.

ASKI has responded to the storms in an amazing way: quickly and compassionately they personally delivered $26,000 of relief goods in dangerous ares to all affected communities in Central and Northen Luzon, based on need. The Foundation has also set up a Disaster Council for future financial and logistical planning.

ASKI recently implemented mandatory crop insurance (PCIP) from the government of the Philippines for all agricultural loans. They are now speeding up implementation. The ASKI board has just approved the following loan contingency plans. Together, clients and loan Officers will decide which of 3 options makes sense for each situation: a loan moratorium, a loan restructuring or a refinance.

In the mean time, our project raising funds for the microfinance entrepreneurs affected by the recent Asian typhoons generated $2,500 so far. For every comment left on this post, I will fund US$5 for entrepreneurs in the area.

Picture courtesy Philippe Martou of WFP Logistics, which set up an extensive relief operation in the region.


Nicholas 25 October, 2009 00:59  

Excellent work. I hope to someday work in the field of Microfinance, and find initiatives like these highly encouraging to do so.
Very Best,
Nicholas - New Delhi

Ian 25 October, 2009 20:02  

Thank you for posting. We use Kiva.org regularly and picking regions is not always scientific. Looks like a lot is needed in the Philippines so I know where to point the mouse.
Ian - North Carolina

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