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Ex-Im Bank Renews, Expands Africa Short-Term Insurance Initiative - Burundi, Comoros, Congo D.R., Liberia and Sierra Leone Added To Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 9, 2006

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Reflecting growing awareness and use of Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) programs in Africa, Ex-Im Bank has renewed its Short-Term Insurance Pilot Program for Africa (STIPP) for three years beginning March 31, 2006, with an authorization limit of $100 million.

After reviewing the eligibility status of all sub-Saharan African nations, the Bank added five countries to the program -- Burundi, Comoros, Congo D.R., Liberia and Sierra Leone-- for public and private sector financing.

At the same time, improvements in country conditions enabled three nations -- Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana -- to graduate from the program and become eligible under Ex-Im Bank's routine cover policies for medium-term financing in both the public and private sector. Ghana also is eligible for Ex-Im Bank long-term financing. With these changes, 28 African countries now are eligible for financing under the STIPP program, bringing to 44 the total number of African countries in which Ex-Im Bank programs are available.

The Africa Pilot Program provides short-term cover in countries where Ex-Im Bank is otherwise not open. It helps businesses in participating countries buy U.S.-made goods and services, including spare parts, raw materials and agricultural commodities. Under the program Ex-Im Bank can insure short-term export credit transactions involving various payment terms, including open account terms.

We are delighted with the growth of Ex-Im Bank programs in this region, said James H. Lambright, president and chairman (acting) of Ex-Im Bank. Our commitment to expand support for U.S. exports to Africa not only benefits U.S. jobs but also facilitates African economic growth.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 71st year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2005 Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $14 billion in transactions supporting almost $17.9 billion in U.S. exports. This represented 3,128 transactions, of which 2,617, or over 80%, directly benefited small businesses. For more information on the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. visit www.exim.gov.