(Ecofin Agency) - The investments made by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) into small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and the Middle East reached $10.4 billion in FY 2021. This is double the $5.6 billion in FY 2020.
Most of the amount went to digital infrastructure, health, financial services and energy. The institution granted $1.6 billion to help health facilities and service providers in Africa respond to the health crisis. IFC has also supported local vaccine manufacturers and financed the acquisition of medical equipment with $8.7 billion.
Another $2.7 billion was invested in trade in Africa and the Middle East. Financial technology development and digital services in Africa, as well as fossil fuels in the Middle East also received support.
"The past few months have shown how critical it is to ensure that small businesses have access to finance, that businesses are connected, and that trade and supply chains remain operational," said Sergio Pimenta (pictured), IFC vice president for Africa and the Middle East.
IFC’s investments over the period targeted key projects that have strong impact in the beneficiary regions.