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News / The EIB Group boosts financing for the Western Balkans in 2020
At a press conference on 2 February 2021, the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) reported investment of €873 million in the Western Balkans in 2020, an increase of its financing in the region by 50% compared to 2019. This investment includes extensive support to the recovery from COVID-19 under the European Union’s Team Europe initiative to help the most affected sectors.
In line with the EU focus on connectivity, the majority of the investment, €531 million, was allocated to constructing and modernising transport infrastructure in the region, along with a €12 million grant provided under the EU Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) for Corridor Vc in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU bank supported a diversified portfolio of investments in key sectors for the region, including a €65 million investment for digitalising over 1 500 schools across Serbia and an €11 million investment for wastewater infrastructure in Kosovo which will improve access to water for some 90 000 people in the Gjilan/Gnjilane municipality.
In 2021, the Bank plans to deliver more support for climate action, SMEs’ recovery, connectivity, digital transformation, and projects encouraging inclusive employment.
The EIB is playing a leading role in Team Europe’s response to the COVID crisis, committing €1.7 billion of the €3.3 billion total announced at the EU-Western Balkans Zagreb Summit in May 2020. To date, the Bank has mobilised over €1 billion to accelerate the recovery from COVID-19 in the Western Balkans.
Photo Credit: European Investment Bank Group (EIB)
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