The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed today with the Government in Skopje a EUR 50 million loan for financing water and wastewater investments in the country.
The Government was represented by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski.

The loan will cover 50% of the total cost of the project, which is designed to increase the water supply in rural areas and improve wastewater disposal throughout the country. The programme loan concerns investments in most of the country’s 84 municipalities in the period 2009-2013.

The investments are aimed, on the one hand, at preparing for compliance with EU rules in the broader water sector and, on the other, at improving living standards and providing a framework for economic development in medium and small-sized towns and villages.

This operation represents a continuation of the EIB's support for FYROM and is fully in line with the EIB's lending priorities for the strengthening and development of activities in support of the Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries.

Concerning the environmental aspects, the project will generally benefit the environment and public health, either by providing better drinking water to the population and improving the efficiency of treatment and distribution facilities, or by collecting and purifying wastewater before discharging it into receiving waters.

Note to editors:

The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and more than 130 other countries. Outside the EU, the Bank supports projects that contribute to economic development in countries that have signed association or cooperation agreements with the EU.

The EIB has been active in the Western Balkans since 1977 and is now the largest international financier in the region.  Over the past ten years, it has financed projects totalling over EUR 6.2 billion in the area. The Bank's focus in the Western Balkans has been on the implementation of transport, energy, health and education projects, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local authorities, industry and services, water and sanitation.

Since 1998, the EIB has lent around EUR 280 million for projects in FYROM.