DHAKA, Aug 8, 2022 (BSS) - To help sustain and create jobs, improve services for people and protect small and medium sized enterprises, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) committed about $2 billion in the South Asian region in the past fiscal year, ending June 2022, with a key focus on helping countries recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
The release of the figures comes as Ruth Horowitz assumes the role of IFC's Regional Vice President for Asia and the Pacific - covering both South and East Asia as well as the Pacific - taking over from Alfonso Garcia Mora, who is now IFC's Regional Vice President for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
"I am very excited to join the region and to work closely with its fantastic staff, clients and stakeholders, and look forward to building on the region's strong history of impactful private sector engagements", said Ruth Horowitz, IFC's Vice President for Asia and the Pacific.
Horowitz is a global investment professional with over 30 years of experience.
Most recently, she served as the Vice President of IFC's Equity Mobilization Division - IFC Asset Management Company (AMC), which has raised over $10 billion from investors across 13 funds, said a press release.
Prior to joining IFC as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of AMC, Horowitz worked for Lehman Brothers.
With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to linger, IFC again stepped up with crucial financial support aimed at helping the region rebuild.
The IFC delivered $237 million in FY22 in long-term finance in COVID-response deals on top of its short-term finance to help local exporters and importers, including contributing to increased food and commodities trade.
Overall, from FY20 to FY22, IFC has committed over $1 billion as part of its COVID-19 response in the region.
"With about $2 billion committed in the South Asia region in the past year, IFC's work has enabled the private sector to deliver solutions to help people and businesses weather multiple challenges," said IFC's Regional Director for South Asia, Hector Gomez Ang.
"The innovation and expertise of the private sector is needed now more than ever as countries build the pathways to a resilient, sustainable future," added Gomez.
As with other regions, South Asia remains vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet, conflict and rising global inflation.
As Vice President for Asia and the Pacific, Horowitz signaled that helping countries achieve their climate goals, while meeting needs for renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure will be among key priorities going forward.
"Already soaring food, energy, and fertilizer prices, exacerbated by both the war in Ukraine and erratic weather events are threatening to reverse decades of development gains, making the task ahead even more urgent," said Horowitz.
"However, the right mix of private sector innovation, public sector policy, and availability of financing can not only boost South Asia's resilience to future shocks but also help transform the region for the better," she added.
Horowitz was also looking forward to strengthening and developing new partnerships in taking on this exciting role across the Asia Pacific region.