The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union are boosting their support for underserved micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in eastern Europe, the Caucasus and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. This includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Furthermore, the EBRD and EU are increasing available finance to develop broadband infrastructure and services in these areas.
Agreements on two EU financial guarantees, totalling as much as €150 million, were signed on the margins of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, DC.
The first financial guarantee of up to €115 million will support partner financial institutions in on-lending to underserved MSMEs, in particular, women- or youth-led businesses, those located in rural areas and others previously facing challenges in accessing finance.
A second financial guarantee, worth up to €35 million, will support investments including high-quality and reliable broadband services.
“I am particularly pleased that underserved businesses and high-quality broadband services will be able to benefit from the financing opportunities made available today, thus contributing to the objectives of the Economic and Investment Plans for the EU Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which implement the EU’s Global Gateway,” said Katarina Mathernova, the European Commission’s Deputy Director General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.