Technical assistance and grants
The EU Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA)
The Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) was launched in 20101. Essentially it is a facility that is modelled on the NIF which aims to blend EU budget grant funding with loans by the financial institutions for 5 countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Unlike the NIF, however, at the present time there are no Member State contributions and therefore IFCA does not have a Trust Fund.
IFCA operates by providing financial non-refundable contributions to support loans to Central Asian countries from the EIB, the EBRD and other European multilateral and national development finance institutions. Its main purpose is to promote additional investments and key infrastructures with an initial priority focus on energy, environment, SMEs and social infrastructure. Based on the development of the Central Asia Strategies, a later extension to transport could be envisaged.
The IFCA covers the period until the end of 2013 and may be extended further following Member States and Commission decision.
The contribution of the Commission to the IFCA is decided annually. The initial financial allocation made to the facility in 2010 was for EUR 20 million. A further EUR 45 million is provided for the period 2011-2013. So far, as the facility is just starting, just one project has been approved (for EUR 5 million): the Kazakhstan Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (''KazSEFF''), a joint EIB-EBRD project.
The financing instruments available under the IFCA are investment co-financing in public infrastructure projects / loan guarantee cost financing / interest rate subsidy / technical assistance / risk capital operation (the two last ones being financed as part of a specific investment operation or as an envelope made available to the EIB)2.
To ensure overall coherence of the IFCA’s operations, the Commission is assisted by a board (‘IFCA board’). The Commission presides over the IFCA board, which is composed of representatives of the Commission, Member States and other donors. The board assists the Commission with setting the overall strategy and taking operational decisions. The board is served by a Secretariat managed by the Commission.
1 By Commission Decision C(2010)2314 – PE/2010/1937 of 23 April 2010 on the Annual Action Programme 2010 part 1 in favour of Central Asia to be financed under Article 19.10.02 of the general budget of the European Union.
2 See Title 3.2. Expected results and main activities, item Activities of the Action Fiche for Central Asia – 2010, annexed to above-mentioned Commission Decision.