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The Financial Express

Dhaka may receive chunk of IFC’s $4.0b global pandemic aid

| Updated: October 31, 2020 15:22:09


Dhaka may receive chunk of IFC’s $4.0b global pandemic aid

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will work with its partners to help recapitalise viable businesses aiming at a resilient recovery, the lending agency iterated on Friday.

The IFC’s pandemic response is focused on reaching the most vulnerable people in developing countries as, it said, a significant portion of $8.0 billion it earmarked for Covid-19 fast-track financing would benefit the poorest countries and fragile states. 

Since March, the IFC has fully deployed an amount of $2.0 billion for the purpose. Bangladesh is among the emerging market countries that would receive support for overcoming the crisis and creating business opportunities. 

“Supporting the private sector will be crucial to helping developing countries achieve an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery and stem the current rise in extreme poverty,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. 

“Our goal with IFC’s fast-track Covid-19 facility is to provide needed liquidity for corporate and financial institution clients, which will provide working capital, support jobs and facilitate trade.” 

The IFC Board in March approved $8.0 billion in financing to help companies affected by the outbreak. 

The support is aimed at helping client financial institutions to keep liquidity flowing to businesses that depend on trade, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), a major source of employment. 

In Bangladesh, IFC supported Mymensingh Agro Limited, a company within the PRAN Group, to expand its capacity to manufacture affordable and quality food products with a $25 million investment, an IFC news release said in Dhaka. 

“IFC’s fast-track COVID-19 facility was designed to provide immediate liquidity to our financial institutions and real sector clients to preserve jobs and prevent short-term damage,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Chief Operating Officer of IFC. 

“By supporting private sector clients and interventions, we are hoping in the longer term to help reignite economic growth, paving the way for a better, more resilient and sustainable future once Covid-19 recedes.” 

The IFC has committed an additional $2.0 billion under the facility, benefiting every region in which IFC operates, according to the release. This financing is being used for a range of purposes, from bolstering healthcare providers to helping the battered tourism sector and keeping viable businesses afloat, thereby saving jobs. 

Another $623 million is said to have been mobilised for these clients from private sector partners.

Additionally, the WB’s IDA Private Sector Window (PSW), has provided $281 million in guarantees supporting trade-finance and working-capital loans to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in eligible countries since March. 

The World Bank Group has the financial capacity to deploy $160 billion over the next 15 months, including a potential $47 billion from IFC in overall support for the private sector. 

In August, the release added, IFC launched the $4-billion Global Health Platform, which is helping developing countries expand access to medical supplies such as masks, ventilators, test kits and, eventually, a Covid-19 vaccine. 

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