The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced a subscription of up to $10 million in a landmark local currency green bond issued by Tajikistan’s Eskhata Bank—the first in the country — to boost access to climate finance for smaller businesses amid a challenging macro-economic environment.

Eshkata Bank, a longstanding IFC partner, is one of the country’s leading private banks, with a focus on serving micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and retail clients, IFC said in a statement on Thursday.

The proceeds of the green bond will enable it to support eligible MSMEs in undertaking climate-smart initiatives, supporting economic activity at a challenging time for the country.

The partnership with Eskhata Bank is also part of IFC’s Base of the Pyramid Platform, which benefits from concessional support from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window in the form of a guarantee and local currency funding that is not readily available in the market.

“IFC’s investment in Eskhata Bank’s green bond is a testament to our dedication to supporting MSMEs in driving environmental sustainability,

“By channeling funds towards climate-smart projects, we are helping to build a more resilient and sustainable economy in Tajikistan,” said Akmaljon Saifidinov, Eskhata Bank’s Chief Executive Officer.

It is noted that Tajikistan recently approved and implemented its Green Economy Development Strategy for 2023–2037, which sets a clear vision and direction for its transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy.

IFC is supporting this process through its climate finance program in Central Asia, which aims to increase the flow of green finance into the country.

“This first green bond issuance in Tajikistan by our long-standing client, Bank Eskhata, is a remarkable achievement that demonstrates the bank’s commitment to sustainable development,

“We are proud to be part of this landmark transaction, which will help pave the way for more transformative green bond issuances in Tajikistan and the region,” said Zafar Khashimov, IFC Regional Manager.

According to the statement, the green bonds raise funds for projects with positive environmental benefits, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, or green building.

These projects not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but can help create jobs and promote technological innovation.

IFC’s relationship with Eskhata Bank dates back to 2005. Since then, IFC has extended a series of loans and trade finance lines totaling $34 million and provided a wide range of advisory services.

IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

The organization works in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.

In fiscal year 2023, IFC committed a record $43.7 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises.

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