AFRICA – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has committed $5.6 billion to private sector development in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 2020.

In a statement, IFC noted that the funds have been used in supporting businesses across the two regions to launch, grow, provide jobs and fight the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

IFC further noted that it has committed nearly US$2 billion in short-term trade financing to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

In sub-Saharan Africa, IFC committed US$4.6 billion in investments to private firms across the region within the two months of June and July 2020.

Companies that have so far received the support of IFC include Cote d’Ivoire’s NSIA Banque, Egypt’s Commercial International Bank, Kenya’s Equity Bank, Mauritania’s Addax Energy S.A, Nigeris’s Access, Zenith and FCMB Banks, and Uganda’s International Medical Group.

The private sector focused development institution further noted that despite the challenges of delivering during a global health pandemic, it has been able to exceeded last year’s commitment of US$4.1 billion.

IFC noted that its investments focused on a number of sectors including healthcare, agribusiness, and solar energy, among others.

The investments included those made in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS) where IFC committed more than US$1.2 billion in investments.

“At IFC our goal was to unlock private investment and create markets and opportunities to support that progress,” Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, said.

The IFC also made significant investments in health sector to help beneficiary companies boost the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives globally.

It disclosed that it has invested more than US$1 billion, including to support the construction of hospitals and clinics in Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco.

In addition to its investments in the Middle East and Africa, IFC said that it provided Advisory Services totalling a portfolio of more than US$590 million.

The IFC has also deployed US$886 million through the Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) to support SMEs in the Middle East and Africa involved in global supply chains.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, IFC has focused its efforts on helping the private sector mitigate the impacts and the economic fallout.

In March, IFC announced US$8 billion in global fast-track financing to help companies affected by the outbreak.

IFC has so far, committed more than US$3.5 billion to companies globally, with US$517 million of the funds being invested in Africa and the Middle East.

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