NAIROBI, July 21, 2020 – IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, committed $5.6 billion to private sector development
in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 2020, supporting
businesses across the two regions to launch, grow, provide jobs and fight
the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, IFC committed nearly $2 billion in short-term trade financing
to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In sub-Saharan Africa, between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, IFC committed
$4.6 billion in investments to private firms across the region. Despite
the challenges of delivering during a global health pandemic, IFC exceeded
its fiscal year 2019 commitment of $4.1 billion.
Investments focused on sectors including healthcare, agribusiness, solar
energy, housing finance, infrastructure, and financing for small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), including in fragile and conflict-affected situations
(FCS) where IFC committed more than $1.2 billion in investments.
In the Middle East and North Africa, where the COVID-19 pandemic has led
to declines in oil production, tourism revenues, and remittances, IFC invested
more than $1 billion, including to support the construction of hospitals
and clinics in Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco.
Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, said,
“Countries in the Middle East and Africa were making significant
progress before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and at IFC our goal was to
unlock private investment and create markets and opportunities to support
that progress. In the wake of the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19
pandemic, we stepped up the momentum to help our clients stay in business
and maintain jobs which are critical to economic growth and livelihoods.
We applaud the perseverance and resilience of the small, medium and large
businesses that are the foundation of economies in Africa and the Middle
East and we will continue to support them in the next phase of the crisis
and through the recovery.”
In addition to its investments in the Middle East and Africa, IFC provided
Advisory Services totaling a portfolio of more than $590 million to nearly
376 projects aimed at improving the business environment, investment policy
and promotion and creating markets in priority sectors. Of the advisory
projects IFC supported, 45 percent were focused on improving gender equality.
IFC’s investment and advisory work in the Middle East and Africa supported
small businesses to access finance, linked small-holder farmers to markets,
facilitated solutions to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, and
increased access to electricity and renewable power sources.
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 $8 billion in global fast-track financing to help companies
affected by the outbreak. Since then, IFC has committed more than $3.5
billion to companies globally. Of that, IFC has invested $517 million in
Africa and the Middle East, with 66 percent going to countries eligible
for financing from the International Development Association, the World
Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.
Among the companies IFC supported:
· In Cote d’Ivoire, IFC provided
a €25 million loan to NSIA Banque Côte d’Ivoire, allowing the bank to
extend new loans to companies whose cash flows have been disrupted by the
· In Egypt, IFC loaned $100 million
to Commercial International Bank to help the bank increase support to clients
and companies impacted by COVID-19.
· In Kenya, IFC loaned $50 million
to Equity Bank Kenya to help the bank increase working capital and trade-related
lending to its SME clients.
· In Mauritania, IFC provided $35
million, part of a $200 million credit facility arranged by Société Générale
to enable Addax Energy S.A. to deliver critical energy imports to Mauritania.
· In Nigeria, IFC provided a combined
$200 million to Access, FCMB and Zenith banks for on-lending to SMEs across
a number of sectors facing working capital or trade finance challenges.
· In Uganda, IFC provided a $4
million loan, part of a $6.5 million financing package, to the International
Medical Group (IMG), a subsidiary of Ciel Healthcare Limited, to enable
the healthcare services provider to address the impact of COVID-19 on its
Since March, IFC also deployed $886 million through the Global Trade Finance
Program (GTFP) envelope of its COVID-19 Fast Track Facility to support
SMEs in the Middle East and Africa involved in global supply chains; almost
92% of the GTFP volume deployed was in low-income and fragile countries
in the regions.
For more information about IFC’s COVID-19 response, please visit www.ifc.org
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our
capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in
developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than $19 billion
in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries,
leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost
shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.