This paper examines how COVID-era economic policy measures — specifically those addressing liquidity — are directly affecting low-income segments and the financial institutions that serve them. In particular, the paper reviews the liquidity needs of financial institutions serving low-income customers in light of COVID-19, provides examples of policy measures being taken around the world to address concerns over liquidity, and addresses how these measures are affecting the financial institutions that serve low-income customers in emerging markets, especially MFIs and other related non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs).

This work was conducted in partnership with GIZ.


Hema Bansal

Former Senior Director, South and Southeast Asia, Smart Campaign

Hema managed Smart Campaign initiatives in eight countries, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal and Laos. She was involved in exploring new business opportunities for the Smart Campaign supporting the implementation of the theory of change of the campaign. She was program manager for several projects at Smart Campaign including, IFC, World Bank, ADB and several other projects funded by networks in the world for improving consumer protection practices. Hema has a Ph.D under the Reserve Bank of Fellowship program along with several publications to her credit.




Loretta Michaels

Independent Consultant

Loretta Michaels is an independent consultant with a focus on policy strategy around digital financial inclusion. She works closely with the World Bank/IFC, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), amongst others, and has supported the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2014. Previously, she was the Senior Policy Advisor for Financial Inclusion for the US Treasury, where she was the subject matter expert on technology-enabled financial inclusion, working with officials across the US government to promote enabling policy environments and capacity building programs in low-income countries. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Loretta served in a number of management positions in the telecommunications industry, leading the development of new venture initiatives worldwide. She also managed the Telecoms & IT consulting unit at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

Mayada El-Zoghbi

Former Managing Director

A veteran and leader in financial inclusion, Mayada El-Zoghbi served as CFI’s Managing Director from September 2019 – May 2023. Mayada also worked as Lead for Strategy, Research & Development for CGAP, where she led CGAP’s strategy development and its research on women’s financial inclusion, financial services in crisis environments, and other emerging topics. Prior to this, she managed CGAP’s work with the donor and investor community-based in Paris, France. From 2002 to 2009, Mayada founded and managed a development consulting firm. She has also led numerous technical assistance, evaluation, and research assignments, served as a research director for a USAID initiative, and lectured at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Mayada started her career working with several non-profit organizations establishing inclusive financial institutions in the Palestinian Territories, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo.

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