Under the new Western Balkans Private Sector Support Facility (WBPSSF), EBRD will provide credit lines to local banks for on-lending to the private sector. The new framework includes a sustainable energy financing facility and a small and medium enterprise (SME) competitiveness support facility.

The funding will be used to finance investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy by enterprises and households and to support SMEs’ investments necessary to comply with EU health and safety, environment, and product safety and quality standards.

The facility is supported by grant funds totaling EUR22.5m provided by the EU as part of the 2009 instrument for pre-accession assistance crisis response package, which includes a comprehensive technical assistance program to assist sub-borrowers to identify and structure these much needed investments.

Henry Russell, director for small business finance and energy efficiency at EBRD, said: “The new Western Balkans Private Sector Support Facility underscores the EBRD’s commitment to supporting environmentally sustainable economic growth in the Western Balkans. The EBRD funds will contribute to setting higher business and environmental standards in the region, supporting these countries’ EU integration objectives.”