WASHINGTON, March 2, 2021 – The Government of Hungary and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, formally kicked off the next phase of their partnership today, agreeing to work together on IFC’s creating markets strategy and on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded partnership builds on Hungary’s initial investment in 2014 which provided $20 million of contributions to agribusiness, energy, health, and water management sectors in middle-income countries, benefitting 33 million people.
This next phase of the partnership is providing an additional $10 million for IFC’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, its upstream advisory work to unlock more bankable projects that lead to private sector investments, and to the mission of the 2030 Water Resources Group, hosted by the World Bank.
“This partnership is very important for Hungary, which aims to support advisory programs and create new market opportunities to further increase the visibility of Hungarian support for private sector development among relevant stakeholders. The IFC Trust Fund will have a stronger focus of advisory activities on thematic areas in the selected countries as well as focusing on green growth including water and climate-smart solutions, SME finance and information and communications technology,” said Gábor Gion, Minister of State of the Hungarian Ministry of Finance.
“Expanding the Hungary-IFC partnership is a celebration on two fronts: it’s an opportunity to take stock of all that has been accomplished and an opportunity to imagine what more we can do together,” said Karin Finkelston, Vice President of Partnerships, Communication, and Outreach at IFC. “IFC’s partnership with Hungary has changed lives for the better by unlocking opportunities for small businesses, addressing climate change, and improving water management.”
The expansion and extension of the Hungary-IFC partnership comes at a critical time for development, as the world enters the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and private sector investment in emerging markets is necessary to revive economies.
“Through this collaboration we look forward to deepening our engagement with countries to amplify impact, and combine our strengths in incubation of new solutions and private sector mobilization with financing strengths and technical know-how to achieve a Water-Secure World for All,” said Juergen Voegele, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank.
To date, the Hungary-IFC partnership has disbursed 49,567 small and medium enterprise (SME) loans and 8,399 sustainable energy finance (SEF) loans. These represent a value of $408 million in SME loans and $80 billion in SEF loans. Geographically, the Hungary-IFC partnership covers 31 countries with the largest funds allocated to East Asia (32%), Eastern Europe (29%), and Africa (15%).
Trevor Harris Kincaid