The Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF), which was established in 2009 to provide liquidity to microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently negotiated an extension until 2025 of its investments from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the development banks of Germany and Austria. These investments total USD 310 million out of MEF’s total assets of approximately USD 700 million. MEF also holds funds with unlimited time horizons from a range of institutional investors including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (also known by its German acronym BMZ), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the development bank of the government of Austria (which is commonly known by its acronym OeEB).
Since its founding, MEF has lent USD 1.5 billion to 160 MFIs benefiting 550,000 clients. Although it originally was created to assist MFIs in the wake of the financial downturn that began in 2008, MEF provides both “regular debt and emergency liquidity funding” as of 2017. Among its goals is avoiding “crowding out much-needed private sector…actors.” IFC, KfW and OeEB are the main investors in MEF.
IFC offers loans, equity investments, advisory services and technical assistance to private companies with the intent of alleviating poverty and promoting open and competitive markets in developing countries. As of 2016, IFC has 184 member countries and total assets of USD 90 billion.
KfW, which is owned by the federal and local governments of Germany, has 970 staff people deployed in 69 offices worldwide as of 2017.
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB), the development bank of the government of Austria, has total assets of EUR 806 million (USD 959 million) as of 2016.
Sources and Additional Resources
MEF home page
IFC home page
KfW home page
OeEB home page
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