The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 10 million for a country-wide investment programme for the water sector in the Republic of Moldova. The project concerns the rehabilitation and extension of water supply and sanitation systems in six towns and neighbouring villages with a total population of 200 000: Ceadir-Lunga, Floresti, Hincesti, Leova, Orhei and Soroca.
The EIB loan will finance a series of priority investment schemes to provide improved water supply services and to collect and treat municipal wastewater that is currently being discharged largely without treatment. The project will increase the population’s access to drinking water, and will contribute towards reducing the pollution of local ground and surface waters. It will also improve environmental conditions in the rivers Prut and Nistru as well as ultimately the Black Sea. In addition, the project will increase energy efficiency by replacing outdated equipment such as water pumps.
The project will contribute to the implementation of the EU’s policy of support for the Eastern Partnership countries. Furthermore, it is important for regional cooperation in the Danube Region, and will thus support the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, which is expected to be launched in the coming months.
EIB President Philippe Maystadt, who signed the loan contract with Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, stated: “I very much welcome this project as it will not only contribute to improving the quality of life of people living in the towns and neighbouring villages concerned in the Republic of Moldova, but on a wider scale will also help improve the environment, and therefore living conditions, in the region as a whole”.
The project is being co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as well as the EU Commission through its Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).
This is the third loan provided by the EIB in the Republic of Moldova, following a loan of EUR 30 million for the rehabilitation of roads linking the capital Chisinau to the Romanian border, and a loan of EUR 20 million for the rehabilitation and capacity increase of Chisinau airport.
Under the current mandate, the EIB can lend up to EUR 3.7 billion to projects in Russia, Eastern European and Southern Caucasus countries in the period 2007-2013. Under this mandate, the EIB is prepared to consider supporting sound projects in the areas of transport, energy, telecommunications and environmental infrastructure, as well as lending to SMEs.
In addition, the EIB has set up the Eastern Partners Facility (EPF) for an amount of EUR 1.5 billion, complementing the aforementioned mandate for the 2007-2013 period and enabling the Bank to particularly support EU foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region for investment grade projects.