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Keeping Firms and Supply Chains Afloat in the Age of COVID-19

Event Date: 
Jun 18, 2020
9:00 am to 10:00 am EDT
Online Event


How are firms and their supply chains evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic? Can certain interventions help them stay afloat? The pandemic is disrupting financial systems that until recently, were expanding the variety of financial products offered to businesses globally. Disruptions to these financial streams and previously lean and robust supply chains are affecting already-vulnerable communities. In fact, the World Bank estimates that the effects could push nearly 40-60 million people into extreme poverty.

On June 18th, 2020, Anastasia de Santos and Sashi Jayatileke from the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) hosted a Marketlinks webinar to share and discuss challenges that USAID and its partners are facing during this pandemic. Speakers from the field explored how they are reorienting programming to rapidly support firm capacity, supply chain linkages, and finance in USAID partner countries.  

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headshot: Sashi
Development Finance, Impact Investing, Entrepreneurship Team Lead

Sashi Jayatileke is the Team Lead of the Development Finance, Impact Investing, and Entrepreneurship team in USAID’S Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Team.

In this role, she manages the team that provides technical and strategic advice on finance, including the PACE program, INVEST, Catalyze, and the blended finance learning agenda. Prior to this, she worked with USAID's Asia Bureau supporting economic growth priorities. Sashi brings 18 years of experience in the design, development, and implementation of projects focused on private sector engagement, impact investing, women's economic empowerment, and financial inclusion. Sashi has led partnership development, technical support and consulting in market systems, and financial inclusion for the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) as well as the Grameen Foundation and the World Bank. She holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from Vanderbilt University.

headshot: Anastasia
de Santos

Anastasia de Santos is an economist with USAID’s Trade & Regulatory Reform Office in Washington, DC.

She has worked in USAID's Bureau for Economic Growth, Education & Environment since 2008 and currently works on USAID's Employment Framework, private sector development, and women's economic empowerment. She has an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University and a B.A. from Yale University in Sociology. In past careers, Anastasia has worked as a copy editor as well as an English teacher. She speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese as well as Cantonese and English.

headshot: Yacine
Investment Officer

Yacine Simporé is an Investment Officer at I&P, an impact investment group dedicated to African SMEs.

She is involved in the I&P Development project (IPDEV 2), which aims to sponsor 10 new African impact funds dedicated to small businesses with high potential. She is also coordinating the implementation of the USAID PACE Program in the Sahel region. Before joining I&P, Yacine was responsible for Banking & Private Sector projects in the Indian Ocean for the French Development Agency. She also worked at the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation as a Social Business Investment Analyst, after starting her career at UNDP and UNESCO. Yacine holds a Master's degree in International Development from Sciences Po Paris.

headshot: Thuy
Senior Program Manager

Thuy Nguyen is a Senior Program Manager and the Mission Private Sector Engagement Advisor of USAID/Vietnam.

She has been with the Mission since 2008 and has managed a high number of activities in such areas as economic growth, governance, education, trade facilitation, and private sector engagement. Prior to joining USAID, Thuy worked for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi and the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council in Washington, DC. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Diplomacy Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and her master’s degree in International Economics and Southeast Asia Studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University. In 2014, Thuy was awarded the USAID Foreign Service National (FSN) of the Year – Professional Level for dedicated service in support of USAID/Vietnam Mission.

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