The coronavirus pandemic, it is a reality, strongly weakens the economies of countries, whether developing or otherwise. On the front line, microfinance players who support the activities of (their) most vulnerable clients, hence their importance, are threatened.
Also, for microfinance institutions in Morocco represented by the National Federation of Microcredit Associations (FNAM), the challenge generated by the Covid-19 health crisis is immense. Also, we cannot hide from the president of FNAM, Ahmed Ghazali, also president of the Al Amana Microfinance association, this warning, not to say, this cry of alarm about the situation facing the microfinance sector in this crucial period.
” This crisis has revealed both the importance of our business sector but also its vulnerability given the specificity of its customers. “, He said in an interview, stressing that microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. ” Our sector is facing a major financial shock that is jeopardizing its sustainability “, He again observed. Ghazali, reviewing the history of the crisis, indicated that at the start of the confinement, the loan release activity was at a standstill, the recovery rate was very low and all MFIs were and still are particularly vulnerable. cash flow problems.
A trend that has not changed much since, according to the president of FNAM. “ this has had a deleterious effect on our clients’ ability to preserve their livelihoods “. Then, he recalled that clients in the sector have benefited from a massive postponement (more than 665,000 microcredit cases representing an outstanding amount of 6.2 billion dirhams (MMDH), or 86% of the overall outstanding amount of the sector) , repayments of microcredits on simple request formulated for an average duration of 3 months without interest and without charge, inducing a negative impact on the net microcredit product (350 million dirhams of shortfall).
The objective is to help customers in difficulty so that income and jobs are not disproportionately affected and avoid business shutdowns. He also specified the importance of the microcredit sector which allows ” to almost a million micro-enterprises, excluded from the traditional financial system, to access quality financial services through a very large capillarity of our network with more than 1,700 fixed branches, of which 40% in rural areas and 150 branches mobiles dedicated exclusively to rural and isolated rural areas “.
This million income-generating activities (IGA) supports some 4 million Moroccans and employs hundreds of thousands of employees. The sector is considered one of Morocco’s leading employers with more than 8,500 employees, 50% of whom are women, he said. Referring to the challenges facing the sector, Mr. Ghazali said “ to base a lot of hope on the bill being finalized », Adding that it is essential to put in place an institutional, competitive and regulatory environment, competitive allowing the various actors of the sector to improve their performances and to contribute effectively to the achievement of the objectives of the strategy of the sector.
We knew that because of the consequences of the health crisis of Dame Covid, the microfinance sector in Morocco was going through a dark period, these figures allow us to feel the extent of the damage. So we can easily understand, this barely veiled alarm in front of the almost general decline in the indicators of MFIs or Al-Amana which alone controls more than 40% of market share in terms of loans distributed by the Institutions. of Microfinance (MFI) of the country. To these ends, it would be necessary to support the development of these MFIs which provide savings and credit services to millions of low-income people.