The Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) financial arm for the Mediterranean Region, has today provided the Syrian Ministry of Local Administration with a EUR 50 million loan, corresponding to half of the total project cost, for significantly upgrading municipal infrastructure across Syria.

Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-President of the EIB in charge of FEMIP conveyed his enthusiasm on the occasion of the signature ceremony in Paris on 20 November: “I am delighted that the Bank’s loan will help consolidate contemporary urban planning and high environmental standards in Syria”. Dr. Tamer Al Haja, Minister for Local Administration, added that “improving priority infrastructure and the quality of local life is essential. I look forward to working closely with the EIB and benefiting from its proven expertise in municipal infrastructure and sustainable social and economic development”.

The proposed framework facility concerns the financing of different investment schemes in Syrian cities mainly covering the fields of urban renewal, urban traffic and transport, public tourist facilities, wastewater, treatment of liquid waste from industry and solid waste management. This multi-scheme programme is the first of its kind to be approved by the EIB for the Syrian Arab Republic. The project aims to stimulate local economic growth, an objective set out by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).

The project is complementary to the European Commission (EC) Municipal Administration Modernisation (MAM) Programme, aimed at supporting the needs of cities for administrative improvements. A FEMIP Support Fund Technical Assistance is expected, in order to assist the Ministry of Local Administration during project implementation. The EC is currently preparing a separate Financing Agreement that would allow a EUR 5m grant to be allocated to the Promoter in support of the environmental schemes financed under the EIB investment programme.

Notes to the Editor:

FEMIP (the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership) was established in October 2002, at the request of the Barcelona European Council, to strengthen and extend the EIB’s activities in the Mediterranean partner countries. It is today the major player in the development of the Mediterranean, its priorities being to develop the local private sector and create an environment that favours investment. In six years FEMIP has invested more than EUR 8.5bn in 125 major projects, supported the development of 1 770 local SMEs and allocated nearly EUR 100m for 113 technical assistance operations and studies. Since the year 2000, Syria has received over EUR 1.4 billion of long-term loans from the EIB under FEMIP.  For further information, see: