EIB renews water sector lending policy

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has renewed its policy on lending to water projects to adjust it to the developments and challenges of this important sector. The renewed water lending policy will help the EIB to further strengthen its role as a major global financier of the sector, and as the "EU Water Bank." The document has been presented at major conferences, among them the recent Stockholm Water Week and the International Water Association's World Water Congress in Vienna...

Luxembourg, Sept. 9, 2008 -- The European Investment Bank (EIB) has renewed its policy on lending to water projects to adjust it to the developments and challenges of this important sector. The renewed water lending policy will help the EIB to further strengthen its role as a major global financier of the sector, and as the "EU Water Bank." The document has been presented at major conferences, among them at the recent Stockholm Water Week and at the International Water Association's World Water Congress held this week in Vienna.

From Spain and Portugal to Greece and Cyprus as well as in the wider Mediterranean region coastal cities in several countries continue to experience drinking water supply emergencies due to severe droughts. On the other hand, catastrophic floods have devastated parts of Central and Northern Europe in recent years, causing loss of lives and significant economic damage. On a global level, more than 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and in Africa seven out of ten people are in need of basic sanitation. The increasing importance of water issues and the problems highlighted above are clearly reflected in the EU's environment and development policies, with water being one of the most comprehensively regulated areas of EU environmental legislation.

The EIB's involvement adds significant value to water projects through project preparation, as well as advisory and technical assistance activities. The Bank's intervention will be predicated on maximizing value added, and priorities will be determined on this basis. The EIB disposes of key strengths that make it unique among financing institutions, in particular the transfer of sector and project experience from the EU to other parts of the world.

It is against this background that the Bank has developed a renewed water sector lending policy. It takes into account the EU policy drivers to define a set of principles and actions that respond to major challenges, and that will consolidate the role of the Bank as a key contributor to investments in the water sector. With its renewed water sector policy, the EIB disposes of a comprehensive document to reaffirm its commitment as a major lender to the water sector inside and outside the EU]; enhance the Bank's good track record, provide further leverage, increase its value added in the sector, and enhance the EIB's climate change policy by complementing the ongoing mitigation measures with an adaptation strategy.

>> To access EIB's water sector lending policy

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