Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Limited (DTB) has signed an agreement for a Sh5 billion loan with IFC to support borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and the funds are being provided under IFC’s global Sh800 billion to fast-track COVID-19 facility launched in March to protect jobs and support businesses with working and trade-related capital as economies grapple with the challenges of the pandemic.
Group CEO and Managing Director DTB Ms. Nasim Devji said the facility will enable them to support SMEs to address their cash flow challenges, which is a key concern as businesses need easy access to short-term liquidity.
“As an SME bank, we are aware that these businesses are among the hardest hit by the fall-out of the pandemic,” she said
In April, the Central Bank of Kenya reported that SMEs had been hit harder than larger companies by Covid-19 partly due to their challenges in accessing capital.
The World Bank Kenya Economic Update projects that Kenya’s gross domestic product will fall this year due to the negative impacts of the pandemic, thus underscoring the need to support the country’s smaller businesses.
“We urge our SME borrowers to take advantage of the facility to ensure their survival during these tough times, as we remain committed to their development,” Devji added.
IFC Country Manager for Kenya, Manuel Moses said they were committed in helping countries across Africa meet the unique challenges of Covid-19 and also speed the process of recovery.
“IFC has earmarked Sh200 billion out of its Sh800 billion Covid-19 facility to the IFC Working Capital Solutions Program to provide funding to emerging-market banks so that they can help businesses shore up their working capital needs,” he said.
Moses said the IFC Covid-19 facility will support existing clients in infrastructure, financial, manufacturing, agriculture, health and other sectors vulnerable to the pandemic.
IFC’s partnership with DTB Kenya is part of world bank strategy to help businesses in Kenya manage the impacts of Covid-19 so they that can continue providing essential goods and services and maintain jobs.