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Center for Disaster Philanthropy Supports The Asia Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Efforts in Myanmar and Nepal

October 14, 2020 — The Asia Foundation has received a grant from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Covid-19 Response Fund to support vulnerable communities in Myanmar and Nepal impacted by Covid-19.

Across Asia, vulnerable communities such as women, youth, small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners, and returnee migrant workers continue to be critically impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. These populations are more likely to be employed in vulnerable and informal sectors and less likely to have access to social protection or information on access to finance. As a result, they are less able to weather the deteriorating economic situation brought about by the impacts of Covid-19.

In Myanmar, the SMB sector, which accounts for over 90% of the economy, has been severely put at risk, impacting the economic livelihoods of the sector’s labor force, predominantly women and young adults. In Nepal, with the outbreak of Covid-19, around 450,000 Nepali migrants are expected to be jobless, spiking the country’s unemployment rate and hampering its overall economy. Among returnees, women migrants, as well as women entrepreneurs, are faced with disproportionate challenges brought on by the global pandemic.

With the support from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, The Asia Foundation will mobilize new economic opportunities for vulnerable under- and unemployed job-seeking youth and help SMBs maintain business continuity and survive and adapt for a post-Covid-19 world in Myanmar. The project will provide customized digital and financial literacy and skills training, including online safety and security, digital tools for job seekers, online marketing, and financial and digital business tools.

In Nepal, funds will be used to address gaps in access to financial literacy, reintegration of returning migrant workers, and income insecurity among micro- and small-business women entrepreneurs. The project will deliver training on entrepreneurship development and digital and financial literacy skills, support women-led businesses to navigate the requirements in accessing credit and financial resources and develop information and resource materials that provide SMBs with guidance on loans and assistance. The project will also leverage the Shuvayatra mobile platform, reaching a nationwide audience of returnee migrant workers, to address gaps in access to financial information.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy‘s mission is to leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. CDP manages domestic and international Disaster Funds on behalf of corporations, foundations, and individuals through targeted, holistic, and localized grantmaking.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: Myanmar, Nepal
Related topics: The Future of Work

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
[email protected]

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