International Financial Corporation (IFC), the private investment of the World Bank Group has partnered up with Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited (DTB Kenya) to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggling under the biting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The move has seen IFC issue DTB Kenya a loan worth $50m (Sh5.4b) to help SMEs in various sectors such as financial institutions, tourism, manufacturing and healthcare. The funds will help with the short liquidity needed by most SMEs in this period.
Manuel Moses, IFC country manager for Kenya, believes that the partnership between the two parties goes hand in hand with the institutions’ agendas.
“IFC’s partnership with DTB Kenya is part of our strategy to help businesses in Kenya manage the impacts of COVID-19 so they can continue providing essential goods and services. IFC is committed to helping countries across Africa meet the unique challenges of COVID-19 and also speed the process of recovery,” he said.
According to Nasim Devji, DTB Group CEO and managing director, SMEs should take advantage of the facility.
“We are aware that small businesses are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, therefore this facility will enable us to support SMEs to address their cash flow challenges, which is a key concern as businesses need easy access to short-term liquidity. We urge our SME borrowers to take advantage of the facility to ensure their survival during these tough times, as we remain committed to their development,” she said.
This credit, as well as the one given to Equity Bank Kenya recently, is part of IFC’s $2b (Sh216b) set apart from the working capital solutions’ program to allow banks in emerging markets to loan to SMEs. IFC set it apart out of its $8b (Sh864b) for the COVID-19 Emergency Response working capital solutions (WCS) envelope to address working capital needs during the pandemic.