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EBRD says it invested 2 billion euros in over 50 projects in southern, eastern Mediterranean region

In Jordan, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development sought to help increase renewable energy share in energy mix

By JT - Jan 17,2019 - Last updated at Jan 17,2019

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) works on an administrative building at the Ghabawi landfill in this undated photo. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is helping fund a renewable energy megaproject at the site, which is expected to be finished in 2027 (Photo courtesy of the GAM)

AMMAN — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said that its investments in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) reached 2 billion euros in more than 50 projects, of which, 70 per cent were in the private sector. 

“This builds on 2.1 billion euros of investments in 60 projects in the previous year,” the EDRD said in a statement to The Jordan Times.

In Jordan, the bank said it provided a $265-million long-term loan to the National Electric Power Company to boost the role of renewables in the energy mix.

The EBRD added that 2018 marked the first investments by the bank in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. In the West Bank and Gaza, the EBRD provided finance to support small businesses, helped capacity building at the Palestinian Monetary Authority and the development of commercial links with support from the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme.

2018 was a record year for Egypt, which became the largest EBRD country of operations, with a total investment volume of 1.15 billion euros in 19 projects, including the funding to reduce extreme levels of pollution for the 6 million people living in the Nile Delta.

In the SEMED region, 40 per cent of the bank’s investments were in the green economy, according to the statement.

With a focus on gender, the bank said it launched its Women in Business programme in Morocco and extended funds to Morocco’s BMCI and BMCE banks, to strengthen the country’s economy by unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs.

In Tunisia, the bank approved a new country strategy for the next five years and provided 75 million euros to the national sanitation utility to upgrade water infrastructure in 33 small municipalities and to alleviate environmental pollution and health risks.

The region also continued to benefit from strong donor support, including from the European Union, the EBRD SEMED Multi Donor Account (MDA), the Green Climate Fund, Global Concessional Financing Facility, the MENA Transition Fund and other bilateral and multilateral donors.

The EBRD also said it overcame significant economic challenges in a number of countries to maintain an excellent level of investment and backing for reforms in 2018. It financed 395 projects worth a total of 9.5 billion euros, very close to the 2017 record of 9.7 billion euros. 

At its annual meeting in the Kingdom in May 2018, the EBRD said it was asked by its shareholders asked to do even more with existing capital to increase investments in existing countries to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals; the international community has pledged to deliver by 2030.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti was quoted in the statement as saying that the bank would raise both the quality and the quantity of its investments over the next two years, and was confident the bank would achieve these ambitious goals.

The donors of the SEMED MDA are Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom.

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