The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intends to focus all its activities on assisting 38 countries where it invests to combat the economic impact of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“EBRD shareholders agreed today to a comprehensive series of response and recovery measures that strengthen the Bank’s Solidarity Package, which was first unveiled on March13,” the EBRD said in a press release on Thursday, adding that the bank stands ready to provide €21 billion euro ($22.6 billion) in financing over the 2020-2021 period.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti described the COVID-19 as an unprecedented challenge to the world and to the EBRD regions.
“The crisis is now so all‐encompassing that, in practice, it is expected that all of the Bank’s business over the next one to two years will contribute to the EBRD’s crisis response,” Chakrabarti said.
The EBRD said it is adapting and scaling up existing instruments and developing new initiatives to provide finance and policy support to help stave off the immediate threat of the virus.
A key pillar of the EBRD’s Solidarity Package is a program to provide financing to meet the short-term liquidity and working capital needs of existing clients.
On Thursday, the bank decided to increase the volume of the program to €4 billion euros from €1 billion.
Founded in 1991, the EBRD is headquartered in London and is owned by 69 countries and two EU institutions.