By Axel Reiserer
Micro and small enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to draw on support by Partner Mikrokreditna Fondacija Tuzla (PMF) to overcome the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a €5 million(US$5.66million) loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The financing will be used to offer short term liquidity to micro enterprises and small scale farmers. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been hit hard by the economic impact of the crisis. Despite the lifting of public health measures that is now in progress, many businesses face unprecedented challenges.
Helping enterprises overcoming the crisis is the goal of the EBRD’s €4 billion Resilience Framework designed to provide existing clients with liquidity support and short term capital. It is part of the EBRD Solidarity Package which also includes trade finance and restructuring of exposures. The EBRD is dedicating its work entirely to combatting the economic impact of Covid-19 and expects to invest up to €21 billion in the period 2020-21 on this.
PMF is the largest microcredit foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was set up by Mercy Corps, an international relief and development non-governmental organisation from the United States, in 2000. It has been a partner of the EBRD for over ten years and is active in the entire country as an essential provider of finance.
EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Manuela Naesssaid: “I am very pleased that our loan to Partner today will support micro and small companies and strengthen their resilience to the negative impact of the corona pandemic on their businesses.”
“As our long-term partner since 2007, the EBRD has demonstrated its ability to recognise the economic situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. EBRD funds have been used to finance business needs and energy efficiency measures. This credit line, which was activated during the Covid-19 pandemic, will enable Partner Microcredit Foundation to continue financing its clients and provide them with funds to start and maintain businesses in the future. The partnership with EBRD gives us confidence and optimism that investing during these difficult times will continue and leave a positive mark on the economy of our country”, said director of Partner Microcredit Foundation, Senad Sinanović.
Since it began its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, the EBRD has invested €2.6 billion in 177 projects there.