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World Bank approves Euro85 million to support job creation and firms affected by the pandemic in Georgia

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, May 13
On Wednesday, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved Euro85 million financial support that will benefit micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the statement published by the World Bank, the new Relief and Recovery for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) project aims to help businesses and create jobs by expanding and strengthening programs that support MSMEs and by promoting the digitalization of Georgia’s economy. The project will assist at least 6,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.

“Through this latest support package, the World Bank will boost job creation and support firms that are the backbone of Georgia’s economy and key to a resilient recovery. This includes helping firms gain easier access to finance and funding investments in financial infrastructure that will promote technology adoption and the use of digital financial services,” said Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus.

According to Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia, it is vital to support the private sector that has been affected by the pandemic as well as to encourage the creation of new enterprises that will enable the country to accelerate economic growth.

As the WB informs, the project aims at enlightening the financial constraints facing the firms and helping them adjust their business to a post-COVID-19 scenario. The direct support for micro and small firms will be distributed by the Enterprise Georgia Entrepreneurship Support program in the form of grants. As for the small and medium-sized enterprises, they can receive support through co-financing of interest payments under Enterprise Georgia’s Produce in Georgia program.

According to the World Bank, the project will also help strengthen the country’s financial infrastructure and increase the use of digital financial services. The project will also focus on the needs of female entrepreneurs, climate change, and green economy.

As the statement reads, Relief and Recovery for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises is part of the World Bank’s broader support for Georgian people and is the third lending operation to the country directed at mitigating the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.