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IFC ramps up impact investments in South Asia
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In a bid to protect the most vulnerable people and help companies maintain operations and jobs, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed over $3.8 billion including mobilisation and short-term finance in South Asia as of June 2021, the company said in a statement.  

With this investment, its total capital flow stands at over $14.9 billion during the last five years in the region towards a green, inclusive and resilient recovery. 

The capital deployment has supported medical facilities, vaccines and supplies, and hard-hit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) while also spurring investments in renewable energy, affordable housing and distressed assets resolution, the statement said.  

In India, IFC’s largest client country globally, total commitments at the end of June stood at $1.7 billion representing an increase of over 51 percent from last year. Likewise, in Bangladesh, IFC made total commitments of $791 million, an increase of almost 33 percent from last year. 

"The Covid-19 crisis has drastically impacted the region’s private sector, which has severely affected the region’s most vulnerable people,” Alfonso Garcia Mora, vice president - Asia and the Pacific region, said.  

"Covid-19 has laid bare the region’s existing vulnerabilities in the financial sector, disrupting businesses—particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises—and leaving so many people exposed. 

That’s why we’ve focused our attention on supporting moves to improve resilience on multiple fronts, as all indications are that the road to recovery will be long,” he said.  

The statement also said that IFC has committed $590 million in Covid-response deals in South Asia—with additional deals worth over $100 million in the pipeline. IFC also provided financing and advisory support for the production of critical pharmaceutical products and medical equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccines.

IFC will further focus on providing much needed liquidity to private sector companies in the region so they can maintain operations, preserve, and create jobs, it said.  

“The impact of the pandemic coupled with the region’s vulnerability to climate change, has highlighted the need for a collaborative, resilient and climate friendly recovery that can withstand future shocks,” Hector Gomez Ang, regional head - South Asia, said.

“This is especially important for South Asia, which is home to three of the top five countries in terms of vulnerability to climate change globally,” he said.  

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

In fiscal year 2020, it invested $22 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.

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