By Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Thursday said it has hiked its financial support to Turkey amid its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Bank stepped up its financing in Turkey to €1.7 billion ($2 billion) in 2020 through 33 projects, from €1 billion in 35 projects in 2019," it said in a statement.
The EBRD noted that it made record investments worth €11 billion in 2020 through 411 projects across three dozen economies, and Turkey was the leading recipient.
In tough times, the EBRD levels up backing for its clients and the economies where it invests, said Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD managing director for Turkey.
"In Turkey we have provided urgent financing for the acquisition of key medical equipment and have helped the private sector through the crisis to ensure that daily business operations, growth, and sustainability plans are not disrupted by the pandemic,” he added.
He added that the European bank's focus in 2021 will not just be on supporting companies so they can handle the crisis but helping them to emerge as more sustainable.
"While working to overcome the pandemic, we should not forget the world’s biggest risk – climate change," he said.
More than half of the EBRD’s 2020 investment in the Turkish economy are made by means of local financial institutions, namely Akbank, Aklease, Alternatifbank, Denizbank, Garanti, Isbank, QNB Finansbank, and Yapi Kredi.
The bank also expanded a €130 million loan to Turkey’s Health Ministry to buy emergency medical equipment for local hospitals, including intensive care units and ventilator monitors, enhancing the healthcare system's capacity.