The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a Framework for Cooperation aimed at increasing collaboration on common objectives in order to foster the development of the private sector and achieve sustainable and broad-based economic growth in the regions where they both operate.
The Framework sets the foundation for new joint operations and outlines areas and regions of mutual interest. It also provides indications on how the EBRD and USAID will cooperate in-country and between their head offices.
Areas of cooperation will include operations aimed at strengthening the financial sector and capital markets, enterprise support, regional integration and trade. In addition, the EBRD and USAID will focus on improving infrastructure, boosting energy security and tackling climate change.
The regions covered by the EBRD and USAID joint action include Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where both the EBRD and USAID have a strong local presence.
Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the EBRD, said: “I am delighted to strengthen our alliance with one of our most important donors. The commonality of our objectives spreads across many sectors and many countries where our joint action is set to make a real difference for millions of people, their economies and their environment.”
Gayle Smith, USAID Administrator, said: "Today, we celebrate a legacy of partnership and cooperation between the United States and Europe. This new agreement with the EBRD will expand our existing partnership to strengthen governance, foster economic growth, fight corruption, and confront new development challenges around the world."
USAID has already signed a Letter of Intent with the EBRD in Jordan, pledging support for the EBRD’s Refugee Crisis Response work in the country. The signing of this Framework for Cooperation sets the stage for expanded engagement on joint priorities, leveraging both USAID and the EBRD’s strong presence in these regions.
The two institutions have a solid record of mutually beneficial cooperation that dates back to 1994. Since then, the EBRD and USAID have partnered on issues related to private sector development, climate change and securing the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
One example is the EBRD’s development programme for Turkish MSMEs – the Turkey MSME Finance Facility – to which USAID provided much-needed support in 2010. In the area of climate change and sustainability, USAID continues its strong backing for the EBRD-managed Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership Fund (E5P), to which it contributed US$ 1.5 million in 2015 for projects in Ukraine.
USAID has also provided a new contribution of US$ 0.35 million for the EBRD’s activities in Georgia, bringing the total grant amount to US$ 7.85 million.