IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, provided a $30 million loan to Brac Bank Limited to support businesses during Covid-19.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger companies hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic are to benefit from the IFC loan, said a press release.
The investment will help to keep businesses open and preserve jobs, which is critical to sustaining Bangladesh's economy.
The financing package is part of IFC's $8 billion global Covid-19 fast track financing facility to support companies in the ongoing public health crisis.
This new investment comes under the Working Capital Solutions (WCS) program of the Covid-19 response envelope, which is providing $2 billion globally to emerging market banks, enabling them to support struggling firms.
With the financing, Brac Bank is expected to extend loans to its SME and corporate customers, supporting businesses to cope with a new wave of Covid-19 in Bangladesh.
"Brac Bank promotes businesses of all sizes but as the pioneer of SME banking, we are particularly conscious of the needs of SMEs and micro-enterprises that play a vital role in driving economic growth and employment-generation," said Selim RF Hussain, managing director and CEO of Brac Bank.
"The Covid scenario is challenging and at the same time difficult for both banks and their SME and corporate customers. We hope the partnership with IFC will help us continue supporting Covid impacted businesses and help them recover."
SMEs make up over 90 percent of businesses in Bangladesh and employ over 20 percent of the adult population. Their cash flows have been heavily disrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
An IFC survey last October showed nearly a third of workers in Bangladesh's micro, small, and medium sized enterprises were jobless at the time, due to Covid-19.
"Clearly, the impact of Covid-19 is continuing to exact a heavy toll on businesses trying to keep operating and keep staff employed," said Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal. "This finance line to our longstanding partner, Brac Bank, is the most recent part of IFC's effort to help Bangladesh build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic."
In Bangladesh, IFC has provided a total of $260 million in working capital solutions to banks and liquidity support to companies since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, including this new funding to BRAC Bank.