The European Investment Bank is providing the Land of Berlin with a loan initially for EUR 56 million(1), with scope for subsequently increasing this amount through the addition of further instalments. The funds will go towards investment in pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education facilities. The Bank's financing will cover a substantial proportion of the cost of over 200 individual projects identified as urgent in the city's school development plan. The various schemes are scheduled to be completed by 2001.

The investment focuses on repair and modernisation of numerous school buildings (especially in the eastern part of the city), construction of schools in new residential areas and modernisation of the Charité teaching hospital attached to Humboldt University.

The works are located in European regional development Objective 1 and 2 areas. Investment in educational infrastructure also accords with the objectives of the 1997 Amsterdam Special Action Programme, under which the Bank fosters growth and employment in Europe through support for education, health and urban renewal.

Since 1990, the European Investment Bank has advanced loans totalling some EUR 29 billion, half of which in the new eastern Länder, to support rehabilitation of the power sector, telecommunications, establishment of new industrial and service companies, promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, improvements to municipal infrastructure and modernisation of hospitals and schools.Berlin has over the past few years become a focal point for EIB funding. Since 1990, EUR 4 billion has been provided for 18 major infrastructure projects including rehabilitation of gas, district heating and water supply systems, development of Potsdamer Platz, construction of the new Berlin exhibition centre and renovation of hospitals in the eastern part of the city.

(1) EUR 1 = DEM 1.95583, 0.647500 GBP.