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OFID (the OPEC Fund for International Development) has signed an agreement committing US$25 million in support of Lafise Bancentro SA in Nicaragua to boost access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. The proceeds are intended to provide Lafise with access to finance and improve the banks capital.
The loan is part of a larger syndication that is being structured by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. The syndication is linked to the development of Lafises climate smart portfolio for companies that want to adopt more energy efficient practices and utilize cleaner energy sources. The objective is to help companies access credit to invest in resource efficient and clean energy projects. The syndication will also increase access to low and middle-income housing for Nicaraguan families.
Commenting on the loan, OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish said: We are committed to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the world. SMEs form the backbones of the economies of many developing countries, yet often find it difficult to access finance. This fits with our focus of supporting Sustainable Development Goal 8 that aims for decent work and economic growth. In many Latin American countries, SMEs account for more than 50 percent of job creation and growth.
OFID has a long history of supporting sustainable development projects in Nicaragua, dating back to the year 2000. The institutions public sector, private sector and trade finance operations mechanisms have between them allocated more than US$230 million to projects in the countrys transport, energy, agriculture and water and sanitation sectors, as well as to action relating to debt.