The research paper “Microfinance in Times of COVID-19: Consumer Protection and the Loan Restructuring Process in Cambodia” offers a unique snapshot of the microfinance sector amid the unfolding pandemic. The report aims to discuss consumer protections within a regulatory framework and to determine what can be done to better protect the most economically vulnerable households, specifically the most financially indebted ones. This research paper examines existing mechanisms in the current microfinance system that support borrowers who have been struggling to meet their debt repayment obligations prior to and during COVID-19. It also documents microfinance borrowers’ experiences of loan restructuring policies on the ground. Phasy RES, CKS Senior Fellow, pursuing her PHD at La Sorbonne University, will be the main presenter. The webinar will be moderated by Natharoun Ngo, director of CKS.
This study has been funded by the Australian Government through The Asia Foundation’s Ponlok Chomnes: Data and Dialogue Development in Cambodia.
Speaker: Phasy RES is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. Her research seeks to explore the complex mechanisms of ‘debt-coerced’ land sale practices. It examines the material and symbolic relationship between indebted households and their land, in particular by focusing on how their concept of ownership and the relationship they sustain with their land increase the likelihood of their losing their land through a variety of market transactions. She proposes to explore their relationship to their land to analyze the notion of ‘land security’ over time.
Moderator: Natharoun NGO, Director of the Center for Khmer Studies