The World Bank said it approved a $65.3 million (53.6 million euro) loan to support coronavirus-hit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Firm Recovery and Support Project loan will improve the MSMEs’ access to much-needed, longer-term financing via tailored programmes, focused on adapting technology and digitisation, the World Bank said in a statement on Friday.

MSMEs in Bosnia are severely affected by COVID-19, as they confront the combined shocks of lower demand, a shortage of working capital, and supply chain disruptions, the Bank’s country manager for Bosnia and Montenegro, Emanuel Salinas, said in the statement.

“This project will provide crucial financial assistance to help firms survive the economic downturn and adapt to a new operating environment. It will also contribute to a recovery that is resilient to future shocks,” he added, urging the local authorities to make the funds available to MSMEs as soon as possible.

The financing is also targeted at underserved market segments such as women-inclusive enterprises, young firms, and firms in lagging regions, the statement read.

The World Bank noted that the project will also support the redesign of government programmes aimed at helping firms adjust to the post pandemic world. It will directly support hundreds of businesses and as many as 10,000 jobs.

In October, the Bank said it expects Bosnia’s economy to decrease by 3.2% in 2020, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and to somewhat recover by growth 3.0% next year.

Courtesy by :