Coronavirus - Africa: European Investment Bank (EIB) approves € 16.6 billion for COVID-19 health response and economic resilience, climate, clean transport, energy and housing
As Winston Mwale reports, companies in North and sub-Saharan Africa, the Eastern Neighbourhood and southern Caucasus to access financing under a dedicated regional COVID-19 financing programme
€ 10.2 billion for COVID-19 public health and business financing; € 5.2 billion for new private sector financing schemes; € 2 billon for energy and energy efficiency investment around the world; Millions of commuters to benefit from € 1.9 billion urban transport funding in Europe, Asia and Africa
The European Investment Bank (EIB) today approved € 16.6 billion of new financing for projects across Europe and around the world.
This includes more than € 10 billion of COVID-19-related investment to improve public health, strengthen public services and back investment by companies in sectors hit by the pandemic.
The EIB Board, meeting by video conference, also backed investment in climate, transport, clean energy and housing projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“The COVID-19 pandemic may have been largely contained for the time being in Europe, but the number of companies seriously affected by the crisis continues to grow and the number of infected and seriously ill are rising rapidly 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 make sure that the money moves quickly.
Today’s approvals increase the amount of financing set in motion by the EIB to € 19 billion 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.
€ 10.2 billion to help businesses and the public sector cope with the pandemic
The Board approved € 10.2 billion of new financing to improve the public health response to COVID-19, ensure that key public services can adapt to new challenges and enable companies to survive economic shocks resulting from the pandemic and to invest into their future.
This includes € 2 billion to support COVID-19 public health and healthcare investment across Italy and € 1.5 billion to help local authorities in France to better respond to the pandemic.
An additional € 1 billion was approved to strengthen the public sector response to COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia, € 900 million for public and private investment related to COVID-19 challenges across the Western Balkans and € 800 million for COVID-19 related business investment in Egypt.
Companies in Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Slovakia most impacted by the pandemic will also be supported through new targeted credit lines.
Outside Europe the EIB will also enable companies in North and sub-Saharan Africa, the Eastern Neighbourhood and southern Caucasus to access financing under a dedicated regional COVID-19 financing programme.
€ 1.9 billion to improve energy efficiency, cut emissions and increase energy access
Energy bills and emissions will be significantly reduced following new district heating investment in France and the Netherlands approved by the EIB today.
The EIB agreed € 900 million of new green energy investment in Italy and Spain and backed a new cross border energy link between Greece and North Macedonia to reduce carbon emissions and phase out the use of lignite.
The EIB also approved financing to two new electricity interconnectors in Mali and Madagascar to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, increase energy access and increase 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 be strengthened under a new financing programme approved by the EIB.
Improving urban transport and green shipping
Commuters and residents of Krakow will benefit from cleaner and better public transport following EIB support for new investment in the city.
The EIB also agreed € 1.1 billion of new support that will transform public transport in cities across Egypt and € 650 million for construction of two new metro lines with 30 stations in the Indian city of Kanpur.
River, rail and road logistics in Europe will be enhanced and emissions reduced by upgrading the Duisburg inland port, another project backed by the EIB today.
Improving urban development and social housing
Thousands of families will benefit from new energy efficient social housing investment in Germany and energy efficient housing across Kenya.
A new project to accelerate investment in sustainable projects in Barcelona will contribute to achieving the goal to cut per capita carbon emissions by half in the Catalan capital.