Crédit Rural de Guinée (CRG) has been announced as the winner of the 6 th European Microfinance Award, focusing this year on Microfinance in Post-disaster, Post-conflict Areas & Fragile States, for its innovative response to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. The Award was presented during European Microfinance Week by Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, during a ceremony on 19th November held at the European Investment Bank Headquarters in Luxembourg.
Crédit Rural de Guinée (CRG) was hit by the Ebola virus outbreak beginning in early 2014. Unlike many others, CRG continued to operate, while taking special measures to prevent infection and protect both clients and staff. This included contacting clients and processing payments by phone, rescheduling loans for affected entrepreneurs (including cancelling debt in cases of death), continuing disbursement of new loans, and providing clients with the means to withdraw their savings. CRG also provided grants to the families of staff who were victims of Ebola. In addition, CRG launched a national awareness campaign to inform clients and the general population of measures to prevent the transmission of the virus. Over 4,000 people& participated in these sessions. With support from the World Food Programme, CRG is currently distributing compensation to over 1000 Ebola survivors who continue to be stigmatised by their communities, as well as to 55,000 affected families