6 Feb 2023 15:21

WNISEF attracts $135 mln in new funding to support recovery in Ukraine and Moldova

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF, the Fund), which is financed by the U.S. government through the U.S. International Development Agency (USAID), has announced receipt of new funding of $135 million to meet critical needs and further its contribution to economic recovery in Ukraine and Moldova from the The U.S. Russia Investment Fund (TUSRIF).

"Additional resources will support worthy initiatives, including those focused on helping displaced businesses and workers, and on supporting municipalities, NGOs, businesses, and other organizations to contribute to Ukraine's economic revitalization and rebound, in coordination with the U.S. and Ukrainian governments," Ukrainian media quoted Chairman of WNISEF's Board of Directors Dennis A. Johnson as saying in a statement circulated by the organization on Monday.

Over nearly three decades, the fund has deployed a large-scale investment program in the region, directly investing $188 million to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as disbursing technical assistance funding of over $50 million since 2015 to promote exports, support local economic development, finance impact investments and launch innovative economic leadership programs, as well as support early-stage start-ups, he said.

Moldovan enterprises also require continued support as Moldova has taken in more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other country, with the country impacted severely by rising energy and living costs, Johnson said.

"With USAID's backing, and these additional resources, we will restart our direct investment program focused on providing seed capital to help catalyze vital projects, and continue to back early-stage IT start-ups in both Ukraine and Moldova," WNISEF President and CEO Jaroslawa Z. Johnson said.

The fund will expand this program to include start-ups in the creative clusters, as well as those focused on local community initiatives and launched by disadvantaged members of society, she said.

WNISEF was established by the U.S. Congress and is funded by the U.S. government via U.S. Agency for International Development.