Visa, Oxfam Partner to Scale Pre-Disaster Financial Support to SMEs In Kenya

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Visa, a global leader in digital payments, and Oxfam America recently announced their partnership to expand Oxfam’s Building Resilient, Adaptive and Disaster-Ready Communities (B-READY) project. This collaboration aims to provide real-time streamlined money movement and relief payments to individuals and businesses in the Philippines, Kenya, Colombia, and Puerto Rico.

The B-READY project utilizes parametric forecasting and community inputs to offer humanitarian assistance before disasters strike. The joint effort by Visa and Oxfam America seeks to scale B-READY into a mobile-based payment solution infrastructure, digitizing humanitarian payments to enhance preparedness for families, individuals, and small businesses facing potential disasters.

The partnership is a response to the alarming statistics that indicate 50% of all disasters and 74% of reported economic loss globally from 1970 to 2019 resulted from weather, climate, and water hazards. Without action, climate change is estimated to push an additional 100.7 million people into poverty globally by 2030 compared to 2020.

Combining Visa’s data-driven insights with Oxfam’s disaster relief expertise and predictive modeling, the collaboration aims to provide advanced warning of major disasters. This will enable fast and secure pre-disaster payments to affected communities, minimizing the impact on families, individuals, and small businesses.

Abby Maxman, President and CEO of Oxfam America, highlighted the interconnected issues of climate change, poverty, and inequality. “Disasters disproportionately impact the most marginalized people, worsening inequality and heightening the need to provide financial assistance to those who need it the most. We look forward to scaling B- READY with Visa to improve disaster preparedness and recovery for at-risk communities worldwide.” – Abby Maxman, President and CEO of Oxfam America.

Oxfam America and Visa have a history of successful collaboration in humanitarian response and digital financial inclusion. Their previous work included digitizing humanitarian payments during Oxfam’s response to super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, improving disaster preparedness and recovery for at-risk communities.

B-READY, founded in the Philippines in 2019, has expanded to reach North Darfur, Sudan, and Indonesia, providing cash grants to families and individuals shortly after the landfall of Typhoon Ursula.

The joint efforts of Visa and Oxfam America demonstrate a commitment to innovation in disaster relief and financial inclusion, marking a significant stride towards empowering underbanked communities globally.