Episode 13

#13 How the Nepal Earthquake and the Ebola Virus are Shaping The Digital Response to COVID-19

One of the many challenges stemming from COVID-19, particularly in the context of the world's least developed countries, relates to the deployment of capital. Fast tracking of payments and capital will be essential to the goal of supporting LDCs in the context of COVID-19, from providing financial support to vulnerable populations, to disbursing grants to SMEs, to sending payments to healthcare workers who are on the frontlines. As with the current virus, digital payments were essential in the context of two other significant challenges: the Nepal Earthquake and the Ebola virus. So what are the lessons we can take from those experiences that are applicable with COVID-19?

We invited UNCDF's Jaspreet Singh and Ali Akram, both of whom have experience with respect to digital payments during the Nepal Earthquake and Ebola virus, to share their views on the Capital Musings podcast. This interview also offers a preview of a webinar that UNCDF will be conducting on April 20th on fast track digital payments in response to COVID-19 and beyond.

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Capital Musings
Capital Musings is the Podcast show of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

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United Nations Capital Development Fund

The UN Capital Development Fund makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 45 least developed countries (LDCs).

UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.

UNCDF pursues innovative financing solutions through: (1) financial inclusion, which expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the local economy, while also providing differentiated products for women and men so they can climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; (2) local development finance, which shows how fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion, women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation, and sustainable development; and (3) a least developed countries investment platform that deploys a tailored set of financial instruments to a growing pipeline of impactful projects in the “missing middle.’’