Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.
August 6, 2020 - COVID-19 Update:
Kiva has been in contact with SPBD Tonga to understand how we can best support their business and borrowers during the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of all staff, borrowers and their families as this global pandemic continues.
While country-specific responses to the crisis vary, most governments have imposed curfews, travel restrictions, and nation-wide shutdowns. Tonga has imposed temporary moratoriums on loan payments, affecting not only microfinance, but the economy as a whole.
As a result, borrowers and SPBD Tonga may experience difficulty making and collecting loan repayments due to the aforementioned restrictions or fallout effects of the virus. Over the coming months, it’s possible that lenders will see a delay in repayments and new loans posted by SPBD Tonga. As an impact-first funder, Kiva is committed to serving our Field Partners, as in past crises. We are sympathetic to temporary increases in repayment delays and delinquency in order to help Field Partners and borrower communities recover.
Kiva is working closely with SPBD Tonga to support them and their borrowers through the COVID-19 crisis. SPBD Tonga is sending regular updates to Kiva, and we'll update Partner Pages as we learn more.
On behalf of Kiva and SPBD Tonga, we’re grateful for your continued support through this difficult time.
South Pacific Business Development Tonga is part of the South Pacific Business Development network of microfinance institutions.
The network aims to improve the quality of life of families living in poverty by providing unsecured credit, training and ongoing motivation and guidance. Clients work with SPBD to start, grow and maintain micro-businesses, build assets, as well as finance home improvements and childhood education.
A unique lending approach:
Along with financing the existing microloans, Kiva partners with SPBD to support the scaling of new loan types, such as higher education loans. Additionally, Kiva funding is directed towards the organization’s efforts to reach the most remote communities in the country’s outer islands, including areas where they are not currently active.
A Note on SPBD Tonga's Portfolio Yield:
We care deeply about the cost that Kiva borrowers pay for their loans, which is why fair pricing is a core part of our initial due diligence process for Field Partners. With Kiva's 0% capital, many of our Field Partners are also able to add additional value to their loans by reducing interest rates, offering non-financial services or creating new loan products.
For partners with reported portfolio yields or average APRs higher than 50%, Kiva takes steps to check that the high rates are justified by the impact of the loans. Kiva also verifies that the partner is not generating unreasonable profits or paying inflated salaries, and that the partner’s elevated operating costs are justified by its operating environment and/or the design of its loan products.
We seek to support loans that don’t impose an unjustifiable cost burden on hard-working borrowers. We nevertheless recognize that in order to reach vulnerable and excluded people with high-impact products and services, some of our partners incur high costs that necessitate charging higher-than-average costs to borrowers in order to allow for sustainability and scale.
Factors that drive up the costs that this partner organization charges its borrowers include:
- They provide more than just cash to many of their borrowers, including costly wraparound services such as healthcare, financial or business training, agricultural extension services, insurance or access to education.
- They work extensively in rural areas, which requires their employees to engage in costly travel to find and serve their clients.
- They operate in a region known to be at risk of natural disaster, which increases the cost of doing business.