IFC approves $200 million financing project for Iraq
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has approved plans on Thursday for an investment to establish an Iraq Small Business Finance Facility of up to $200 million.
The facility will seek to work with existing banks and new financial institutions that may be established in Iraq. It will consist of a technical assistance component of up to $30 million for capacity building and a micro and small business finance component of up to $170 million to provide financing through partner financial institutions, stated a press release.
"Conditions in Iraq are evolving quickly and IFC wants to be in a position to begin financing activities as soon as the environment permits", said IFC's executive vice president, Peter Woicke. "We are hopeful that this project will support the overall reconstruction efforts underway in the country."
The technical assistance component of the facility will help participating financial institutions develop capacity for micro and small business financing by providing training, systems and, in some cases, helping to create units with specialized expertise. IFC expects to work with other donors, bilateral agencies, and commercial investors for both funding and technical support.
Other institutions in the World Bank Group, namely, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) have assisted in the preparation of a Needs Assessment for Iraq's reconstruction, which formed a basis for the new IFC facility.
IBRD and IDA continue to carry out required preparatory work and plan to begin operations in Iraq contingent upon improved security and a number of factors – such as debt sustainability, settlement of arrears, and governance -- that do not apply to IFC in light of its private sector focus. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)