The European Commission makes available €4.2 million under the External Investment Plan to help banks in Africa and the European Neighbourhood better assist underfinanced sectors. Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, signed this support agreement last week in the margins of the World Bank Spring meetings in Washington.
This technical assistance programme will support concrete capacity building measures to help local banks develop new loan and financial products better suited to support underfinanced sectors such as young entrepreneurs, women and SMEs in low-income, fragile and conflict-affected countries, who have difficulties obtaining financing from their local banks.
It will complement the EIP's “Small Loans and Guarantee Programme (SLGP)” worth €42 million, which aims to encourage local banks to lend to small companies, which have had difficulty accessing finance to date. It will also invest in high impact sectors such as health, education and agriculture in difficult emerging markets.