With the easing of the lockdown and slow recovery of the economy impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, BRAC Uganda Bank and BRAC Uganda NGO with support from Mastercard Foundation have launched the ‘COVID Recovery and Resilience Program’ to enable COVID-19 Prevention activities, support recovery of Micro, small and medium Enterprises that were greatly affected by the pandemic and to provide digital solutions for the BRAC Uganda Bank Clients.
The project will also launch e-learning services for MasterCard Secondary School Scholars; a mobile push and pull solution to address operational needs and deliver financial and digital literacy; refinancing BRAC Uganda micro-borrowers whose businesses have been severely disrupted by COVID-19, and provide digital training and safety protocols to improve BRAC’s Health Program for current and future outbreaks.
Jimmy Onesmus Adiga, the Managing Director of BRAC Uganda Bank said the project is intended to enhance economic access and recovery of 5,400 group borrowers (100% of them women) with access to microloans at a discounted interest rate.
The loans are intended to enable them to slowly recover from the impact of the pandemic on their businesses, introduce digital banking to BRAC Uganda Bank clients.
“Part of the funds will be directed to build the capacity of BRAC’s 2,891 Community Health Workers (CHWs) and ensure their safety as they work to reduce COVID-19 infection rates and also support 2,139 MasterCard Secondary School Scholars in preparing for the national exams,” Adiga emphasized.
Dr George Matete, the country director of BRAC NGO says the project will be implemented using a multi-pronged approach that: ensures safety, security, and safeguarding; builds partnerships; raises awareness in communities about COVID-19 safety precautions, and contributes to the social and economic resilience of their livelihood.
“With the help of BRAC Uganda Bank, our interventions are uniquely tailored to suit each of the targeted beneficiaries due to their diversity in terms of financial exclusion, physical attributes as well as location displacement, to realize their potential and sustainably transform their lives out of poverty” added Dr Matete.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda, BRAC Uganda has committed efforts in supporting communities to prevent and protect themselves against contracting the virus through; soap distribution, community sensitization through BRAC’s Megaphone Blitz Campaign and dissemination of IEC material, financial literacy and refinancing of livelihood sources that were greatly affected by the pandemic.