Experiences of several Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in disaster-prone areas have demonstrated that access to microfinance services can support disaster preparedness and risk reduction by decreasing client vulnerability. When clients have access to needed financial services during crisis situations, the impact of the disaster may considerably lessen. This guidebook is rooted in the philosophy that providing services which enable clients to prepare for future crises and mitigate their impacts is major element of the work MFIs do. For this reason, all MFIs need to ensure that they and their clients take necessary steps that enable them to plan how they will respond to and manage potential natural disasters.The guide aims to:assist MFIs in defining an institutional strategy for disaster preparednesslay out the steps for assessing the potential risk of disaster, the clients’ needs and the institutional capacity to respondoffer a variety of recommendations for internal preparedness as well as examples of financial products that could mitigate the impact of disaster on clientsprovide references to tools and guidelines which institutions may use in rolling out their decided strategies.The guide is organised as a series of exercises and references to tools to assist MFIs to plan and implement a disaster management strategy. It helps MFIs assess the risk of a disaster, their clients’ needs and their own institutional capacity to respond. Finally, it offers guidance for preparation, response and recovery. The guide addresses the following topics in this sequence: assessment of riskinstitutional preparednessclient preparednessemergency responserecovery.
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