GLOBAL – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved € 16.6 billion (about US$18.94 billion) of new financing for COVID-19 health response and economic resilience initiatives around the world.

European Investment Bank in a statement revealed that much of the funds, amounting to almost US$11.41 billion will be used to support COVID-19-related investment.

A significant portion of the COVID-19 health response funds will according to EIB be used to improve public health, strengthen public services and back investment by companies in sectors hit by the pandemic.

“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,” EIB said.

The Bank noted that it 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.”

The European Investment Bank Board, meeting by video conference, also backed investment in climate, transport, clean energy and housing projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In Africa, Egypt is one of the beneficiaries of EIB’s latest expenditure approval, securing € 800 million for COVID-19 related business investment in Egypt.

Additionally, EIB also approved € 1.1 billion of new support that will transform public transport in cities across Egypt.

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 European Investment Bank will support the connection of the capital Bamako to the West Africa power pool and new sources of renewable energy from across the region.

Later this month European leaders are expected to discuss how the European Investment Bank can further strengthen support for investment essential to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Other issues to be discussed by the European leaders include, how the European Investment Bank can tackle climate change and rebuild a strong and competitive EU economy.

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