Hong Kong, August 25 (ANI): The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has said that thousands of micro, small, and medium enterprises besides millions of farmers across Asia and the Pacific stand to benefit from its first phase of COVID-19 crisis response funding.
As the pandemic continues to send shockwaves through the global economy, IFC -- a member of the World Bank Group -- supported 13 companies in the region with over 190,000 employees in the manufacturing, agriculture, services and energy sectors.
This involved USD554 million in COVID-19 related funding in the fiscal year ending June 30, including USD40 million (about Rs 300 crore) to DCM Shriram Ltd in India to mitigate supply chain disruptions and boost resilience in markets.
IFC said over 200,000 Indian farmers are expected to benefit from this.
Also, IFC deployed USD492 million in COVID-19 related trade finance lines in the region. This has helped financial institutions provide liquidity to businesses dependent on trade, especially small and medium enterprises.
About 17,500 MSMEs and corporates in the region are also expected to be among the beneficiaries of IFC's USD2 billion Working Capital Solutions (WCS) programme in FY 2020. The aim of the programme is to help emerging-market banks extend credit so that businesses can continue to operate, stemming job losses.
The WCS programme is part of IFC's USD8 billion global COVID-19 fast-track financing facility developed to help businesses cope with the ongoing global slowdown, marked by a collapse in tourism, plunging trade, disruptions to supply chains and diminished foreign direct investment.
"The economic and social impact of COVID-19 will continue to exact a toll on people and businesses, leaving an indelible mark on the region's economies and private sector," said Alfonso Garcia Mora, IFC's newly-appointed Regional Vice President for Asia and the Pacific.
"To address this, we are stepping up efforts to support companies strengthening also our support to the financial sector so that businesses and firms can build resilience on the road to recovery," he said in a statement.
IFC is now working on the second phase of its COVID-19 response to help financial institutions and companies in the region on their path to recovery, said Mora.
As part of its bid to advance workable development solutions to the challenges posed by COVID-19, IFC will also step up its engagement with the World Bank in the Asia Pacific region.
"We will focus on our strategy to create markets by working upstream, tackling barriers to spurring the private sector and creating jobs. This approach is critical to attract investors in the most vulnerable markets," said Mora. (ANI)