World Bank IFC provides $30m loan to UAE waste management company Averda

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The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $30 million loan to waste management firm Averda, as it seeks to continue partnering with UAE-based companies to help them grow in developing and emerging markets.

The funding will help Averda build resilience after the coronavirus pandemic and enable it to continue its planned growth in Oman, Morocco and South Africa, the IFC said Thursday.

“This is IFC’s first investment in the private waste management sector in the Middle East and Africa. It is fully aligned with our World Bank Group…Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 to boost climate finance for developing countries,” said Sufyan Al Issa, IFC Regional Head of Operations. mena. The National.

“IFC is committed to playing its part in terms of supporting the financing of climate-related activities. »

Averda provides waste management services to more than 60,000 private and public sector customers, covering approximately 12 million people in eight countries in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

The company is increasingly focusing on sustainable solutions that extract value from waste and drive the circular economy.

Waste generation is expected to triple in sub-Saharan Africa and double in North Africa by 2050, and requires immediate action to mitigate its climate impact, according to a World Bank report.

The investment aligns with the World Bank’s climate strategy to scale up climate finance to developing countries and IFC’s commitment to supporting cross-border investments.

“If we don’t make meaningful progress in tackling the climate crisis over the next decade, we will be in really serious trouble,” Al Issa said. “We’re out of time.”

IFC, based in Washington, is the world’s largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.

It partners with entities ranging from start-ups and venture capital firms, to financial institutions and private companies to stimulate economic activity and also support climate and gender programs.

In 2021, the IFC invested $31.5 billion, including $23.3 billion in long-term financing and $8.2 billion in short-term financing, in private companies and financial institutions.

IFC’s cross-border investments in GCC-based companies to date total $5.1 billion from IFC’s own account and $3.4 billion from its leverage, financing 148 development projects. worth $22 billion, according to IFC data.

The United Arab Emirates, the second-largest Arab economy, remains a priority market for the IFC within the six-member GCC economic bloc. Since 2003, IFC has invested in 37 companies in the United Arab Emirates to help them expand their investments and operations in developing and emerging markets.

IFC commits to playing its part in supporting climate business finance

Sufyan Al Issa, IFC Operations Manager for the Mena region

“The key question for me is what are we doing in the UAE…in terms of supporting UAE-based businesses, in terms of expanding and investing in emerging markets, and even taking them to new markets,” Mr. Al Issa said.

“The focus on the UAE is extremely important, given the type of market we are talking about, the opportunities and their strategy in terms of [the] global development program and… investments outside the UAE.

The IFC said there are “a lot of opportunities at this stage” as the UAE prepares to host COP28, following Egypt, which hosts COP27 this year.

The UAE aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and plans to invest Dh600 billion ($163 billion) in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

The presence of two major global climate events in the region will give added impetus to climate finance, Mr. Al Issa said.

“This, in fact, will give increasing momentum to the climate agenda, both in terms of the attention of governments in the region, but also in the resources that will be put into [by] countries and the private sector in the climate sector,” he said.

“The key in this space is to have alignment between public and private sector investments, as well as IFIs [international financial institutions].”

Updated: May 26, 2022, 08:13

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