The European Investment Bank, the European Union's (EU) financing institution, is donating EUR 500000(1) to the Republic of Mozambique for relief assistance to victims of the recent floods. The funds are being channelled through the EU's Delegation in Maputo, which will identify the uses for the emergency funds.

In recent years the European Investment Bank has provided humanitarian grant aid to countries or regions severely hit by disasters, such as Honduras and Nicaragua in 1998, Kosovo, Turkey and the Athens area in Greece in 1999.

European Investment Bank has been active in Mozambique for some time and its financing has been stepped up since 1992 with the ending of Mozambique's long civil conflict. Loans, approved under the framework of the 4th Lomé Convention, have helped to upgrade the country's electricity system and supported investment in industrial production of some of Mozambique's natural resources (graphite, aluminium, cashew-nuts, shrimp fishing, sugar).

The EIB, established in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome, finances capital investment projects which further the European Union (EU) policy objectives. It also participates in the implementation of the EU's co-operation policy towards third countries that have co-operation or association agreements with the Union.In 1999, the EIB provided loans totalling EUR 31.8 billion, of which EUR 4 billion for projects outside of the EU. The Bank borrows on the capital markets the funds for its lending. Its bonds have regularly been rated AAA by the leading rating agencies. As the EIB works on a non-profit basis it can pass on to the project promoters the excellent conditions it obtains on the markets. The EIB finances up to 50% of the project cost; on average it provides one third of the funding and co-finances investments with other institutions.

(1) EUR 1 = 0.621700 GBP.