Economic Strengthening for the Very Poor (ES4VP)
Beneficiaries that have access to appropriate protection strategies will be better able to cope with shocks. Today, 2.5 billion people have no bank accounts or insurance services which can make the difference between surviving and thriving. A growing body of empirical evidence shows that access to the right financial service at the right time helps households build assets, generate income, smooth consumption, and protect themselves from risks.
Accumulating savings also helps households manage cash flow spikes. Researchers think that saving small amounts at home is difficult for poor households given multiple, immediate demands of various household members. When mechanisms such as VSLAs provide HH with an opportunity to save frequently with low-balances, impact is high.
A recent randomized evaluation found that access to a new savings service to women in Kenya enabled them to mitigate the effect of health shocks, increase food expenditure for the family, and increase microbusiness investments by 40% relative to the control group.