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The commitment was signed by Finland's WTO Ambassador, Kirsti Kauppi, the EIF's Executive Director, Ratnakar Adhikari, and Chakib Belhassan, Executive Officer for the Trust Fund Manager at the United Nations Office for Project Services, which manages the EIF's dedicated trust fund.

Since 2008, Finland has contributed a total of EUR 23.5 million to finance EIF-led programmes.

The world's poorest countries are amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The closing of borders to trade and the decline in tourism and in official development assistance have increased the pressure on their already fragile economies. Women and young people in particular are facing job losses with their businesses driven to the brink of collapse. Finland's contribution will finance new projects in LDCs to help strengthen the trading capabilities of these countries and to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the pandemic.

“The EIF provides a means for Finland to support the strengthening and economic diversification of the poorest countries. The EIF is a key partner in ensuring that the private sector can thrive in a business-friendly environment. We are also pleased to help the EIF support women entrepreneurs as part of its Empower Women, Power Trade initiative,” Ambassador Kauppi said.

“The EIF is assisting LDCs to weather the economic crisis that has unfolded with the pandemic and that is impacting their trade recovery,” Mr Adhikari said. “We are grateful for Finland's commitment to help address the enormous financial challenges that LDCs are facing. We see it as recognition that the EIF and the women and men it supports in partner countries need urgent assistance and that they need it now.”

The EIF is the only multilateral partnership dedicated exclusively to helping LDCs use trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. It is a unique global partnership between LDCs, donors and partner agencies, including the WTO, who work together to build trade capacity in LDCs. The EIF works across continents and has already helped 41 countries integrate trade into their national development plans while supporting over 1,300 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises and over 35,000 women entrepreneurs.

Further information on the EIF is available here.



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