The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, provided financing worth $10.4 billion in the Middle East and Africa in the fiscal year 2021.
IFC's financing included $2.9 billion in short-term finance and $4.2 billion in mobilization, with 70 percent of IFC's own account financing going to low-income and fragile and conflict affected states, the global financial institution said in a statement.
Under the Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP), IFC committed $2.7 billion aimed at supporting trade flows between countries and helping to connect small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to value chains in the Middle East and Africa.
The funds helped small businesses access finance, connect people and businesses to reliable digital infrastructure, trade and services, and help to meet critical health needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it added.
Under the Global Health Facility, IFC provided $1.6 billion in the Middle East and Africa, including $732 million to partners in sub-Saharan Africa, which is helping support the expansion of diagnostic and laboratory testing, increased access to critical medical equipment, and partnerships to support leading vaccine manufacturers on the continent.
In the infrastructure sector, IFC invested in a bond in February issued by Liquid Telecommunications Financing, PLC to help the company expand access to broadband Internet and digital and cloud services across Africa. In June, IFC announced a landmark loan to Iraq's Basrah Gas Company to help reduce gas flaring, boost energy access and power homes and businesses across Iraq.
Within the financial services sector, IFC invested $26 million in Africa to support financial technology development, and supported projects aimed at increasing climate finance, including a $150 million loan to KCB Kenya to help the bank increase lending for climate-friendly projects.
(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)
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© ZAWYA 2021