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EBRD adds 3 billion euros to coronavirus support package

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday it would boost by 3 billion euros a support package to help stricken companies and councils mitigate the economic hit from the coronavirus.

The EBRD had announced a 1 billion euro support package in March, including measures providing emergency liquidity, working capital and trade finance as well as restructuring to its existing clients affected by the crisis.

The programme’s scope will also be widened to include affiliates of existing clients, the bank said in a statement.

Furthermore, the bank would now also make funds available with liquidity lines to municipalities to help keep essential public services running, said EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti.

“Some of these economies have already been hit by lower commodity prices, now they are being hit by the measures to contain the virus, which means value chains have been disrupted, tourism has collapsed,” he told Reuters. “A number of them are very dependent on remittances as well, which have also collapsed.”

The bank’s total investments over the 2020-2021 period will amount to 21 billion euros, the EBRD said in its statement.

Majority owned by G7 top economic powers, the EBRD invests in 38 economies including central and eastern Europe as well as Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in Africa.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; editing by Sujata Rao, Kirsten Donovan)