The following report explores three innovative approaches in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, used by Vitas Group and Global Communities to successfully grow the financial inclusion sector in the Middle East over the last 20 years, despite the region’s persistent political and economic instability.
The related projects are:
- the development of community- and people-focused disaster management planning in Iraq;
- a relentless focus on customer relationships to support business continuity in Palestine;
- the use of long-term funding with political risk insurance to address capital constraints during times of instability in Lebanon.
The lessons learned in disaster risk reduction are the following among others (p. 11):
- Disaster risk reduction should be seen as a process that needs to be reviewed regularly, like any other key business area, with a senior person directly responsible for overseeing it.
- A financial institution should always have a crisis management plan as part of its risk management framework - even in low-risk security environments.
- A robust disaster risk reduction plan should include tactics to manage both the emotional and physical well-being of staff to ensure that a basic duty of care is given before, during, and after stressful situations.