International Finance Corporation (IFC) has said that it is ready to support Covid-19 pandemic-stricken small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of Nepal. Addressing a webinar titled ‘Private Sector Response to Covid-19’ organised by the Society of Economic Journalists-Nepal (SEJON) on May 26, Wendy Werner, country manager for Nepal Bangladesh and Bhutan of IFC said that the private sector arm of the World Bank Group will help to reenergize the Nepali private sector affected by the global health emergency and measures taken by the government to stop the spread of coronavirus. “The role of private sector is very important for economic recovery. We will support the SMEs of Nepal affected by the coronavirus,” she said. Werner mentioned that Nepal’s services sectors including tourism collapsed during the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic and that the impacts of the collapse will remain for some time to come.
“IFC will not only be equity investor for the Nepali private sector but will also play a broader assistive role to help overcome the difficulties,” she said. IFC in mid-March announced a USD 8 billion Covid-19 package to support private companies of developing countries.
IFC has been providing its support to private sector-run banks and financial institutions in Nepal. Werner informed that the country’s SMEs will receive assistance from this year. “SMEs play crucial role in employment generation,” she said. According to Werner, IFC’s investment in Nepal will reach USD 500 million by the end of 2020. “We have targeted to invest USD 1.2 billion in Nepali private sector by 2023,” she said.