Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, has just completed a two-day visit to Lebanon. Invited by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, he inaugurated the Tripoli wastewater treatment plant which benefited from an EIB loan, and today signed a loan of 70 million euros to support new water treatment facilities in the Kesrwan region. He also took part in the laying down of the foundation stone for the Tripoli west ring road, which also benefited from an EIB loan.

Supporting efficient infrastructure is a priority for the EIB and its arm dedicated to the Mediterranean region, FEMIP, to create an investment-friendly environment and improve quality of life. It is also part of the EIB pledge to lend 960 million euros in the next five years made at the Paris III conference on the reconstruction and development of Lebanon in 2007.

The new loan in favour of water infrastructure in the Kesrwan region will improve sanitation services to a densely populated and touristic region. It will prevent untreated water from being discharged into the sea. It is included in the priority list of projects H2020 for Lebanon and is part of the National Action Plan for pollution reduction in connection with the Barcelona Convention.

The Kesrwan water treatment facilities will also benefit from EUR 4 million of technical assistance from the European Commission through the newly established Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). International experts will ensure the sustainable running of the west infrastructure and proper management of the project over its first years of activity.

Philippe de Fontaine Vive declared: “I am very pleased to see our past loans take shape and serve their purpose, while also being able to maintain FEMIP’s continuous support to Lebanon”.

Note to the editor:

FEMIP, the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership, is the European Investment's financial arm for the Mediterranean region.  Its remit is to promote the development of nine countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Gaza/West Bank. Its two investment priorities are: support for the private sector, the driving force behind sustainable growth, and the creation of an investment-friendly environment by means of efficient infrastructure and appropriate banking systems. FEMIP has established itself as the main financial partner of the Mediterranean region, with more than EUR 8.5 bn invested since 2002. It also encourages dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean, at the institutional level but also with the representatives of the private sector and civil society.

NIF, the Neighbourhood Investment Facility, supports heavy infrastructure projects mainly in the energy, transport and environment sectors in countries neighbouring the European Union. It allocates grants to support lending operations piloted by public European financial institutions. The Kesrwan water treatment plant is the first project in Lebanon to benefit from this innovative tool, in support of Lebanon’s investment priorities.