Development banks pledge €24.5bn to east Europe

The World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank on Friday agreed to lend up to €24.5 billion ($31 billion) to support banks in central and eastern Europe hit by the crisis.

The development banks said that they would lend to the region's banks to support their borrowing to businesses, in particular small- and medium-sized companies.

"This joint action plan will help speed up the delivery of vital finance through the banks to support