MOZAMBIQUE – Micro, small and medium-sized companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are set to benefit from the Portuguese government and the Lisbon aid.
Portugal said in a statement that it will provide financing lines in the amount of US$1.97 million to African Portuguese Speaking Countries (PALOP).
“Portugal maintains a firm commitment to Mozambique, both in terms of cooperation for development, investment and job creation, and in response to natural disasters plaguing the country, as was the case with cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019, providing humanitarian aid, in its various aspects, but also support to companies affected by these calamities through the FECOP and INVESTIMOZ financing lines,” the Embassy of Portugal statement reads.
Mozambique’s private sector, which has been facing very negative consequences on its economic activity, will benefit from direct support, as will the education and nutrition sectors.
Portuguese support for Mozambican companies consists of redirecting 40% of the Portuguese Cooperation Business Fund (FECOP) to support Mozambican micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) facing cash and liquidity difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
FECOP has as partners the Mozambican Banking Association and IPEME [Institute for Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises], and is operated in partnership with three Mozambican banks: the Banco Comercial e de Investimentos, Millennium bim and Moza Banco.
In the education sector, Mozambique will benefit from US$273,780 made available to the Education Sector Support Fund (FASE).
Portugal will disburse its contribution to this fund immediately, taking into account the prevention and response measures adopted by the Mozambican government, and particularly the goals defined in the Response Plan prepared by the Ministry of Education and Human Development to guarantee the continuity of the academic year, with all the challenges inherent in the closure of schools decreed on March 23 of this year.
In addition to the aid to companies and the education sector, there is also, the press release from the Portuguese embassy in Maputo reveals, a fund of US$32,850 for the Covid-19 Response Plan presented by the World Food Program-directed nutrition programmes that ended with the closure of schools.