EBRD announces support for economies struggling with coronavirus fallout

17 Mar 20

A €1bn package of support for economies hit by the coronavirus pandemic has been unveiled by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.



The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development headquarters in London, UK

The bank, which works to support countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, will use the money to help keep businesses liquid during the crisis.

Many economies in the EBRD’s regions are heavily integrated into supply chains involving China and Europe – the two areas most affected by the virus.

And many of those countries have large tourism industries, meaning they are very likely to suffer from the fallout of the pandemic, even if they experience relatively few cases of the virus themselves.

“The covid‐19 pandemic and its economic consequences present an unprecedented challenge to the EBRD and its countries of operations,” said EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti.

He said the funding comprises “emergency liquidity, working capital and trade finance”, including liquidity support for municipal, energy and infrastructure clients.

“This is a first step,” said Chakrabarti.

“The bank stands ready to further scale up its response, and is taking active and urgent steps to review, adjust and expand its financing instruments.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the head of the eurogroup of single currency area finance ministers Mário Centeno said he and his counterparts will protect the euro and their citizens “come what may and with everything we have got”.

After a video meeting with the other ministers, Portugal’s Centeno said the group is ready to provide “unlimited” support.

“We will do whatever it takes and more, to restore confidence and support a rapid recovery,” he said, promising fiscal support to businesses and “strong action” to support public services such as healthcare.

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