EIB President Philippe Maystadt announced today at the PARIS III International Conference on Support for Lebanon that the Bank will fund the recovery, reconstruction and reform plan drawn up by the Lebanese Government to the tune of EUR 960 million over the next 5 years by financing key projects under the Public Investment Programme, supporting both private sector activity and public investment.

We are sending a clear signal of confidence in Lebanon, President Maystadt said. This amount is three times total EIB finance in the country over the past six years, marking a massive commitment by the Bank to assisting Lebanon at this critical juncture. In all areas, the EIB will work closely with the European Commission, bilateral European development agencies such as AFD and KfW and IFIs such as the World Bank. The funding will be provided under the Bank's Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP).

With EUR 400 million in support of priority infrastructure projects the Bank will continue its commitment to the transport, wastewater and energy sectors, encouraging the necessary sectoral reforms. Additionally, technical assistance grants will facilitate the preparation and implementation privatisation programmes.

EUR 560 million of new financing will be channelled into underpinning the private sector in tandem with local banks by means of innovative structures such as debt securitisation and the financing of private investment under public-private partnerships (PPPs). In addition, the EIB will foster the development of a venture capital market supporting Lebanese companies. This type of financing will also act as a catalyst and help to increase the inward flow of funds into Lebanon and the region.

Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, EIB Vice-President in charge of FEMIP, commented: I can confirm that that EIB has exceeded the EUR 300 million pledged at Paris II to support investment in transport, water and sanitation infrastructure and private sector development. This EUR 960 million package demonstrates the EIB's strong commitment to assisting Lebanon in its drive for reconstruction and growth.