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Tuesday, 05 July 2011

Luxembourg provides new funds for microfinance in ACP countries

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Investment Bank are joining forces on a third technical assistance operation in support of microfinance. Luc Frieden, Finance Minister, and Philippe Maystadt, EIB President, today signed a new cooperation agreement that will bring together the expertise, networks and resources of the EIB and the Finance Ministry in order to develop microfinance and the private sector in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The Finance Ministry of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has pledged to earmark a new envelope of EUR 3m (EUR 1m a year until 2013) for technical assistance projects supporting EIB investments in microfinance companies and institutions, i.e. intermediaries that provide retail financial services to small businesses or micro-enterprises. The technical assistance will take the form of support and training in the fields of accounting, administration and risk management as well as sound governance of those intermediaries. Under their cooperation agreement, the EIB, through its participation in the investment funds that it supports, identifies for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg the technical assistance projects that merit financing. On the basis of the EIB’s recommendation and following an examination, the Finance Ministry funds the technical assistance operation directly. Monitoring and evaluation are conducted jointly at a later stage. Over the past five years, under two previous agreements, 15 microfinance projects received aid and technical assistance totalling EUR 5m in nine countries: Cameroon, Uganda, Chad, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania, Namibia and Afghanistan.

Source: EIB