By Samuel Ouma
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has revealed that it has loaned Equity Bank Kenya $50 million to fund Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made by the IFC Country Manager for Kenya Manuel Moses.
“IFC’s longstanding partnership with Equity Bank underscores our commitment to Kenya’s financial sector and wider economy, especially during these difficult economic times. Keeping businesses solvent and protecting jobs are essential parts of IFC’s response to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19,” said Moses.
The loan is part of $8 billion set aside by the Washington DC based financial institution in March to boost businesses globally during and after Covid-19 crisis.
Elated Equity Bank CEO Dr. James Mwangi called on their customers especially in the health and manufacturing sectors to seize the available opportunity.
“IFC’s loan, part of our business continuity management plan, will help Equity Bank extend much-needed support to our clients, particularly to SMEs in sectors hit hard by COVID-19. We have purposed to support and walk with them so that they can survive during this crisis, recover, and thrive after it. I call on customers looking to seize emerging opportunities in the health and medical sector to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) or support the logistics of the entire ecosystems and value chain to take advantage of the $50 million facility,” reiterated the CEO.
Kenya has reported thousands job losses and business closures since the novel virus was reported in the country on March 13.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country has hit above 14, 000