AKIPRESS.COM - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported private sector growth in Europe and Central Asia throughout the past year, helping sustain economies and protect jobs amid an unprecedented global crisis. During its fiscal year 2020, which ended on June 30, IFC invested around $2.5 billion in the region, including $1.1 billion mobilized from other investors, driving the diversification of the region’s economies, promoting inclusion, tackling climate change, and helping to lessen the impact of the pandemic, IFC said.
IFC also supported $657.2 million of cross-border trade in the region through 25 banks participating in its global trade finance program. IFC implemented 74 advisory projects in the region, which focused on improving business regulations, working with the private sector to fight climate change and helping local companies improve their corporate governance, and environmental and social practices.
To boost the green economy in the region, IFC helped prepare the first solar tender in Uzbekistan, soon bringing renewable energy at a very competitive price to the country, and supported Armenia’s first grid-scale solar photovoltaic project among other projects.
To increase access to finance and promote inclusion, among other projects IFC provided loans to two local financial institutions, Humo and Arvand in Tajikistan, to finance micro-housing projects and lend to microfinance customers.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, IFC has focused its efforts on helping the private sector mitigate the economic fallout. In March, IFC announced $8 billion in global fast-track financing to help companies affected by the outbreak. In Europe and Central Asia. we have stepped up to support our existing clients in dealing with the impact of the pandemic, for example with a $50 million loan to Garanti BBVA to lend to Turkish micro, small, and medium enterprises affected by the pandemic. IFC also allocated around $300 million in trade finance in the region, helping client financial institutions keep liquidity flowing to businesses that depend on trade, especially SMEs.