The European Investment Bank Group, the bank of the European Union, today announced details of a comprehensive response to the coronavirus pandemic outside the EU that will provide up to € 5.2 billion in the coming months. This financing is part of the Team Europe response and supported by guarantees from the EU budget. It will both strengthen urgent health investment and accelerate long-standing support for private sector investment that reflects financing needs in more than 100 countries around the world.
The immediate fast-tracked support will help to sustain jobs and livelihoods in sectors most threatened by the economic and social impact of the coronavirus, and will be followed by additional long-term health and business financing as needed.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is already hitting many countries and will have profound economic consequences around the world. Many people will lose their jobs and livelihoods. Especially in vulnerable countries this crisis will destroy entrepreneurial networks and exacerbate existing debt distress. We urgently need to show that Europe is there for our partners when they need us. As part of Team Europe, the EU Bank will in the coming weeks identify and support new health and business investment outside the European Union. We will work in close partnership with the European Commission, EU member states, European development finance institutions and other multilateral financial institutions to ensure that public and private partners can better access finance essential to cope with the pandemic shock”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
Responding to immediate and medium-term needs in 100 countries
In recent days the EIB has been in contact with public and private sector clients in more than 100 countries of operation outside Europe to determine the most effective approach to enhance public health preparedness and business resilience, as part of the EIB’s longstanding support for sustainable and inclusive growth around the world.
This rapid response will be adapted to reflect the specific sector needs and new local challenges as the impact of the coronavirus continues to develop. The EIB will also provide technical assistance and share sector expertise to strengthen and enhance the impact of new investment.
Accelerating support for health and business investment and strengthening private sector resilience to the economic and social impact of the coronavirus
The EIB stands ready to accelerate about € one billion of disbursements on existing approved loans to help the health sector in countries outside of the EU face the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to ensure that business activity can access immediate financing to counter cash flow and liquidity challenges.
Immediate support for longstanding global health sector clients will include support for new public health efforts, helping clients to refocus existing operations to tackle the health crisis and accelerating disbursement of approved private and public sector projects.
Reinforced support for the health sector will benefit from the EIB’s unique technical experience and financial expertise gained from more than € 30 billion of hospital, healthcare and health innovation investment across Europe and around the world in recent years.
Rapid identification of priority projects will be further enhanced by the EIB’s close existing cooperation with health ministries and health sector partners outside Europe.
The EIB’s response will also support enhanced access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, including through scaling up existing credit lines managed by local banks around the world.
The immediate response will focus on supporting companies in sectors most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and where production capacity is most exposed.
This will also help to reinforce the key role of local banks and financial institutions, including microfinance partners, whose local knowledge will be key for ensuring a successful long-term response.
Local and international corporates, SMEs, farmers and entrepreneurs around the world will benefit from the EIB’s private sector response.
Ensuring governments can better respond to the virus impact
Public sector investment in countries around the world is expected to be significantly challenged and constrained as a result of the coronavirus.
The EIB will work with public sector partners to increase concessional financing available for both health and business investment. This will include support for public services including health, regional trade and highly vulnerable sectors such as tourism and hospitality.
Fast-track financing will be available for countries where the EIB already operates. The initiative has been designed so that EIB financing can be supported by additional backing from international and European development finance partners.