The World Bank said on Wednesday it would make $27 billion (17 billion pound) available in funding over the next two years to eastern European and central Asian countries that are being hard hit by the crisis in the euro zone.

The bank said in a statement that the crisis in the single currency zone was impacting the region's emerging economies via three channels -- trade, finance and workers' remittances.

While the effects of the Eurozone crisis on the largest economies of western Europe receive most of the world's attention, the crisis is also hurting people in emerging eastern European countries, particularly the poorest in central and southeastern Europe, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

The World Bank Group is expanding funding available to the region so that those countries can rely on these resources to weather the crisis.

The statement said the cash would go towards funding structural reforms for the private sector as well as supporting the banking sector and social safety nets.

The additional funds for 2012-2013 represent a $4 billion increase in World Bank loans compared to last year and a $2 billion increase in commitments from the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank.

(Reporting by Sujata Rao; editing by Carolyn Cohn)