The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €7.5bn of new financing for projects worldwide as part of its global coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
The financing will go towards investments to improve public health, hospital and elderly care facilities, and dedicated new business lending programmes to support sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said, “The COVID-19 pandemic makes support for the public health sector and business desperately urgent, and the EIB Group is responding without delay.”
He added, “I was glad to receive support from the EIB governors, the EU finance ministers, earlier this week for this combination of crisis response and long-term investment into a green and digital future.”
The EIB board approved €3.2bn of new financing to support private sector and public health investments.
This includes targeted credit lines in Spain, Mexico, Uzbekistan, the Maldives and through regional initiatives with partners across Africa. This will help companies in sectors most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a climate action business financing programme in Greece, and financing for innovative companies in Italy.
New hospital and healthcare financing will support the emergency response to the virus in Spain and Portugal, and construction of a new hospital and improvement of existing intensive care facilities in Antwerp. The EIB has also agreed to finance a new programme to improve care facilities for elderly people across Portugal.
The board approved a regional initiative to strengthen the public healthcare response to the coronavirus in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Moldova, Belarus, and Uzbekistan.
In addition to this, the bank has allocated €1.5bn for clean transport and improving electric vehicle charging. Commuters and travellers across Europe will benefit from improved air quality and more sustainable transport following EIB support for new rail, electric car and public transport investments. This is besides the EIB’s support of energy efficiency in urban development and social housing.
Thousands of families will benefit from EIB backing agreed for more than 1,500 new near-zero emission affordable homes in towns across France, and improvements to district heating in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas.
Future generations of students and researchers will benefit from redevelopment at University College Dublin and higher education institutions across Romania. This comes alongside new EIB financing for three new specialist oceanographic climate research ships in Italy.