The MFA instrument began life in 1990 as a way to provide eastern European countries experiencing external sector problems with macroeconomic support. The first beneficiary of this instrument was Hungary, which received a loan of €870 million in 1990. Between 1990 and 1999, eight of the future Member States benefited from loans, the largest recipients being Hungary (€1 050 million), Romania (€780 million) and Bulgaria (€750 million). Other beneficiaries in this group were the former Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. After Czechoslovakia’s dissolution, a loan to Slovakia was approved, but never needed to be disbursed.
The countries that have been granted assistance since then are: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Figure 1 shows the distribution of aid among the country groups. As at the end of March 2017, 62 operations had been approved, for a total of €11 449 million, of which €10 362.5 million in loans and €1 086.5 million in grants. Effective disbursements amounted to €9 007 million, of which €8 035.5 million in loans and €971.5 million in grants.