Liberia, Sierra Leone To Benefit US$4.6m For Small, Medium Enterprises

WASHINGTION, DC and Accra, Ghana, November 6 – The Government of Netherlands will provide US$4.6 million to International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) West Africa Venture Fund.  The fund for the project will be placed in Cordaid’s new financing program, that will focus on small and medium enterprises in Sierra Leone and Liberia while further rapid response projects are under consideration.
 
Cordaid is a branch of the World Bank that creates opportunities for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable and excluded people regardless of race or religion.
 
“IFC intends to take risks in an ambitious effort to provide commercial financing in the months ahead and to support recovery as the Ebola epidemic comes under control”, IFC’s  Executive Vice President and CEO Jin-Yong Cai said.  
 
Cai said ICF will find and create opportunities to encourage private investors to play a large role in the recovery of markets directly and indirectly affected by the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  
 
According to the press release, the World Bank Group is mobilizing nearly US$1.0 billion for the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis, including US$400 million announced in August and September 2014 for the emergency response and another US$100 million announced in October 2014 to help speed up the deployment of foreign health workers to the affected countries.
 
 Of the previously announced US$500 million, US$117 million has already been disbursed. The support was coordinated closely with the United Nations and other international partners to assist the affected countries.
 
The release said the fund is also intended to treat the sick, provide essential food and water to Ebola-affected households, coping with the economic and social impact of the crisis, start to improve their public health systems to build up resilience and preparedness for potential future outbreaks.
 
The World Bank Group also recently released a report that said that if the virus continues to surge in the three worst-affected countries and spreads to neighboring countries, the two-year regional financial impact could reach US$32.6 billion by the end of 2015.
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