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ABI Bank and UNDP embark on a partnership to support small businesses recover from the earthquake

Tirana 6 July 2022:  The CEO of the American Bank of Investment, Andi Ballta, and UNDP Albania Resident Representative, Monica Merino, signed a financing agreement to support fifty  micro-businesses to recover from the impact of the earthquake. Abi Bank has committed USD 100.000 to this partnership.

Fifty micro and small businesses in two of the most earthquake-affected municipalities, Durres and Lezha will be supported through the “In Motion” methodology developed and successfully applied by UNDP in countries affected by natural disasters, including in Albania.  “In Motion” aims to stabilize the economic conditions of micro businesses, reestablish, and improve their economic activities in the market.

The CEO of Abi Bank Andi Ballta highlighted:” The support that goes to 50 women-led micro-businesses or to others highly sensitive to the needs of the community, is in line with our CSR priorities, such as the advancement of gender and social equality. We are very proud of the fact that the Solidarity Fund- a joint contribution of ABI Bank as a financial institution, our 87 employees, 98 customers and associates, with whom we share the same priorities and values, goes towards initiatives for the good of the society which we are all part of. We are happy about this partnership with UNDP which works to advance human development in Albania.

The UNDP Albania Resident Representative, Monica Merino, said:’ The  private sector is a strategic partner for UNDP in achieving its vision to help Albania achieve sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shocks. I am very happy about this partnership with ABI Bank to build forward better from the earthquake and the pandemic. The support from ABI Bank will help revive and strengthen the local economy in the two targeted municipalities. Together, we will promote a green recovery”.

In Motion supports small businesses with situational diagnosis, training in soft and business skills, improvement of business image, and investment in equipment. The 2019 earthquake caused significant market disruption, damages to the businesses, total or partial loss of merchandise, sales breakdown, and loss of customer base in the affected municipalities.

As outlined in the financing agreement, ABI Bank will support the renovation of equipment and modernization of commercial images of the fifty micro businesses. This will help modernize their customer service and improve their sales. UNDP will provide personalized technical assistance, from diagnosis to business improvement plans.

The” In Motion” methodology aligns with ABI Bank's strategy of Corporate Social Responsibility aiming to contribute to the lives of communities and make  a positive impact on society as a whole.