European Investment Bank approves US$18.9bn for COVID-19 relief and economic resilience

Chuckcars flickrThe European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved US$18.9bn for projects across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America

It includes more than US$11.4bn for COVID-19-related investments, to improve public health, strengthen public services and support the investment by companies, in sectors impacted by the pandemic.

Companies in the North and sub-Saharan Africa, the Eastern Neighbourhood and southern Caucasus will be able to access these funds, under a dedicated regional COVID-19 financing programme.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may have been largely contained for the time being in Europe, but the number of companies affected by the crisis continues to grow and the number of people who have become grievously ill, is also increasing on other continents. The EIB has worked with hundreds of public and private sector partners around the world to identify where our help is most needed, and we will make sure that the money reaches quickly. The approved amount has brought the total amount of funds set in motion by the EIB to US$21.7bn, since the beginning of this crisis. Later this week, European leaders will discuss how the EIB can further strengthen support for investment essential to reduce the impact of COVID-19, tackle climate change and rebuild a strong and competitive EU economy,” said Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank.

Businesses and the public sector

The Board has approved US$11.6bn of new financing to improve the public health response to COVID-19 and ensure that the leading public services can adapt to new challenges and enable companies to survive the economic shocks resulting from the pandemic.

This includes US$2.28bn for the COVID-19 related public health and healthcare investment in Italy, and US$1.7bn for local authorities working for pandemic relief work in France.

An additional US$1.1bn was approved to strengthen the public sector response to COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia.

Energy efficiency, reduced emissions and increased energy access

The EIB has agreed to a new green energy investment worth US$2.17bn in Italy and Spain, and provide its support to a new cross border energy link between Greece and North Macedonia to reduce carbon emissions and phase out the use of lignite. As a result, energy bills and emissions in France and Netherlands will be reduced.

The installation of two new electricity interconnectors in Mali and Madagascar has been financed by the EIB, to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and increase energy access through the use of cheaper energy sources. In Mali, the capital Bamako will be connected to the West Africa power pool and new sources of renewable energy from across the region.

Sustainable power generation in Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico will also be strengthened under a new financing programme approved by the EIB.

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