Tunisia - Employee of an embroidery company working on an embroidery machine

Corona Response Program


Given the profound impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the economy and employment in partner countries, the Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) launched the "Corona Response Programme" in 2020. The programme has now ended. The Corona Response Programme (CRP) component was dedicated to counteracting pandemic-related job losses in Africa. To allow for a rapid and effective implementation, CRP funds were disbursed to eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through selected financial partner institutions (PFIs) in the partner countries. These PFIs had been pre-selected by KfW Development Bank and were based in Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Morocco. Due to their market proximity, they were in an ideal position to understand local conditions, challenges and effects of the pandemic and could therefore systematically identify the SMEs that were eligible for financial support.

Through the grants allocated through the CRP, the beneficiary SMEs were able to cover their interest liabilities or operating and personnel costs, which were essential for preserving threatened jobs. The CRP targeted SMEs that were in a precarious situation but demonstrated financial vitality and growth potential prior to the onset of the pandemic. In addition to complying with financial eligibility criteria, qualifying SMEs had to be privately owned, have between 25 and 250 employees, and be free of politically exposed shareholders.

The first proposals from PFIs for eligible SMEs were received shortly after the announcement of the CRP and were promptly processed by IFE. First disbursements were made in October 2020 and were continuously pursued. The CRP had a total budget of 65 million euros. Of this amount, around 59 million euros had been disbursed to PFIs by October 2022, of which around 54 million euros were allocated to SMEs. In total, the CRP helped to mitigate the immediate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in partner countries by supporting 1,919 eligible SMEs with a total of 106,189 employees. As scheduled, the Corona Response Programme stopped making disbursements after two years in October 2022.

Through its Corona Response Programme, IFE contributed to achieving the following additional Key Performance Indicators:

  • Number of companies supported by the Special Initiative with respect to job preservation in the context of the Corona pandemic,
  • Number of people employed by these companies.


We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

Find out more about our services for companies, universities, chambers and associations: https://invest-for-jobs.com/en/offers

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