Due to the severe health risks and country regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of its social initiatives have focused on COVID-19 support efforts in 2020, accounting for 60% of the spent budget and 98% of the reached beneficiaries. These efforts mainly involved distributing health and safety items such as face masks, hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial soap to prevent the contraction and transmission of the COVID-19 virus and the provision of food necessities such as flour, rice and oil.
Our investments in communities
As part of the Group’s commitment to contributing to the general improvement of society in the communities in which it operates, the Group’s regulated microfinance institutions engage in a variety of social initiatives in communities.
To this end, the Group has invested in several community programmes in 2020 that deliver true value to clients and to the broader community where they live and work. The Company’s microfinance institutions allocate between 0.5% and 1% of its profit (except where regulation requires otherwise, as in India, where it is 2%) to these activities. In 2020, the Company spent more than USD 500,000 on community programmes, which benefited 2,300,588 people in the field of education, healthcare, sanitation and disaster relief.
OF THE COMMUNITY INVESTMENT BUDGET WAS SPENT ON COVID RELATED SUPPORT
"We are constantly seeking feedback on the needs of the community and synchronise our investments to make a sustainable and positive impact.”
AMINUR RASHID, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS
In April 2020, to support clients in the pandemic’s uncertain times, branch managers and loan officers in Kenya distributed food necessities such as flour, rice, oil, sugar, and hygiene products to over, 2,500 clients at 40 different branches. The distribution was accomplished with the assistance of the local government authorities.
Many families were affected by the severe flooding in Western Uganda in 2020. In August, disaster relief efforts were made by five branches of ASA Uganda. Loan officers personally distributed approximately 2,500kg of food to 487 clients and victims of the floods in the Kasese District to assist them in these challenging times.
In December 2020, loan officers and branch managers at Marikina branch in the Philippines distributed bags with provisions to clients. The bags included, amongst others, rice, noodles, cans and coffee. Similar distribution efforts were repeated approximately 2,000 times over the course of 2020, reaching up to a total of over 17,000 beneficiaries.
On 25 May 2020, ASA Myanmar distributed COVID related health and safety items such as face masks, gloves, anti-bacterial soaps, medicine, and some emergency food such as rice, oil, noodles, canned fish etc., to 120 beneficiaries at the Bago and Thanatpin branches in the Bago Division. Provision of safety items and food was repeated in other branches over the year, reaching a total of almost 54,000 beneficiaries.
On 14 October 2020, ASA India, in collaboration with Narayana Health, launched a mobile unit as part of ‘Program H.o.p.e’ (Harnessing Oncological Preventive and Early Detection service). Common cancer types have high cure rates, and mortality is reduced when detected early and properly treated. The mobile healthcare minivan is driven to different parts of West Bengal state to provide free health check-ups and state-of-the-art early cancer detection services to communities in need.