Countries and organizations in Europe under their umbrella Team Europe have announced plans to provide 125 Million Euros (about Shillings 518 billion) in loans to support small and medium Ugandan enterprises to recover from coronavirus impact.
In a statement issued on Monday, Team Europe said, “We are planning a package to provide access to credit for Small and Medium Enterprises in the sectors most hit by the crisis.” Adding that, “This package will also encourage further partnerships between Ugandan and European entrepreneurs.”
A United Nations Capital Development fund survey last month indicated that up to 85% of the businesses in Uganda will struggle to survive after the coronavirus crisis. Many have already laid off their workers or cut their pay to stay in business.
Team Europe comprises of several countries and organizations such as the Delegation of the European Union, European financial institutions like the European Investment Bank and the German development bank, the Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) among others.
The support to small businesses will go through local banks. The timeline when the businesses can start drawing the money isn’t yet clear. In the same statement, Team Europe says its grants to the Ugandan government to combat coronavirus has reached Shillings 219 billion.
This includes the 30 million euros EU gave Uganda in April. They hope their contribution will help in the purchase of personal protective equipment, PCR machines, extra test kits, mobile laboratories and infrared thermometers to support front line workers in their fight against the spread of COVID-19.