The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, is providing EUR 50 million (1) to the Republic of Cyprus for the construction and equipment of the new general hospital in Nicosia. This is the first EIB loan in the health sector in a Candidate Country for EU accession. 

The project will be implemented by the Medical and Public Health Services Department of the Ministry of Health. It consists of the relocation of the existing hospital to a site, some 3 km South East of Nicosia. The new hospital will comprise of a main hospital building of 59 000 sqm. Upon completion in July 2003, it will provide 430 acute inpatient beds in 18 nursing units for general surgery and medicine, including orthopaedics, cardiology nephrology, neurosurgery and critical care services, also covering burns, ITU and coronary care.

The funds are provided under the Bank's current EUR 8.5 billion pre-accession lending facility, which runs up to the year 2003. Pre-accession facility lending is aimed at projects that will support the integration of Candidate Countries with the EU. A particular emphasis is being given to environmental protection, as well as communications infrastructure, industrial competitiveness and regional development. Cyprus has so far received EUR 300 million under this facility.

The EIB is a leading institution in implementing the European Union's priority objectives. In 2000, EIB financing for projects supporting European Union policy objectives totalled EUR 36 billion (up 13% on 1999). EUR 30.6 billion went to projects within the EU Member States and close to EUR 3 billion to those in the Accession Countries, while lending in other countries ran to over EUR 2.4 billion. To fund these activities, the EIB borrowed EUR 29 billion on the world's capital markets. The EIB is a major player in EU candidate countries and in EU partner states in the Mediterranean region. EIB finance in Cyprus is provided under the "Euro-Mediterranean lending Mandate" and the "pre-accession facility". Since the beginning of EIB operations In Cyprus, including this loan, a total of some EUR 550 million has so far been advanced by the EIB to support projects in water supply and waste water treatment, industry, energy and transport infrastructure. 

(1) EUR 1 = 0.647500 GBP, 0.572900 CYP