“We must not lose sight of longer term needs” says EIB President at major pledging conference to tackle refugee crisis in Washington DC.

EIB President Werner Hoyer has urged government ministers, Multilateral Development Banks, and international institutions to support longer term investment that helps create jobs and critical infrastructure for regions affected by the current refugee crisis.

Werner Hoyer was addressing the International Conference for the New Financing Initiative to Support the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. The initiative is a ministerial-level pledging event taking place during the World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

Welcoming the initiative Werner Hoyer said, “The refugee crisis and the wider migration issue is a huge challenge for us all. Multilateral Development Banks need to work together to face the challenge in host countries and countries of arrival, in countries of transit, and in countries of origin.  Crucially, we must not lose sight of longer term needs. Even as the emergency continues, we must move from crisis management to crisis prevention. We are talking about schools, water projects, ICT investment, hospitals, and support for start-ups - above all for women and young people.”

He added, “We at the EIB are also exploring ways of stepping up our financing even further, as requested by EU political leaders. This involves using public funds to attract private investment. We need to move from grants to loans and other financial instruments in order to have a greater impact on development goals. Public funding alone will never be enough to do the job.”

The EIB aims to provide an extra USD 3.4 billion by 2020 to create jobs and support essential infrastructure in the Western Balkans, Turkey, and the MENA region. This means providing around USD 20 billion of financing to these countries between now and 2020.

Full speech of Werner Hoyer International Conference for the New Financing Initiative to Support the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

The EU bank has been active in the Mediterranean region for over 35 years, making long-term finance available to support sound projects in both the public and private sectors which contributes to development in the region. Our experience in the MENA region and Turkey is reflected in a committed exposure of well over 40 billion dollars. This means we are well placed to help develop new approaches together.

Our lending activities in the Mediterranean region are based on a Mandate from the European Union - the External Lending Mandate (ELM) currently covering the period 2014/2020 - through which we work together with the EU and the Mediterranean partner countries to support socio-economic development in the region. This work is enhanced by EIB's partnerships with the EU External Action Service, and financing partners including other European / International Financial Institutions, with which we seek to ensure alignment in our efforts to support economic development in the region and in Jordan.

More information:

The New Financing Initiative for MENA consists of two Financing Facilities, a Concessional Financing Facility and a Guarantee Facility. It has been developed by the World Bank Group (WBG), in partnership with the UN and the IDB Group, with the objective of mobilising additional financial resources for the MENA region. MDBs would be entitled to participate as Implementing Agencies.


The EIB is active in 160 countries around the world. As a key player in the world of development finance, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is participating in the 2016 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) taking place in Washington D.C. (USA) through a delegation led by President Werner Hoyer.  These events are among the most important in the calendars of all organisations involved in international development and the EIB is proud to contribute its expertise. 

As the EU bank, the EIB provides long-term finance for sound, sustainable investment projects in support of EU policy goals in Europe and beyond including the Sustainable Development Goals and putting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change We are the largest multilateral lender and borrower in the world and are owned by the EU’s 28 member states. The EIB makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals including the support of the Sustainable Development Goals and putting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change into practice.  

The EIB invests in four priority areas in support of growth and job creation: innovation and skills; access to finance; climate action and environment; and strategic infrastructure.

As the world’s largest climate financier, the EIB is playing a particularly important role in helping to tackle climate change. Last year around 27% of all lending went towards climate action. The Bank is committed to raising the proportion of climate investment to 35% by 2020, and placing a greater emphasis on helping regions in the frontline of climate change to adapt.

For more information

Tackling Global Challenges Together: for updates, news and videos www.eib.org/globalcooperation

Refugee Financing: Hope for Syria: http://blog.eib.org/hope-for-syrian-refugees/

Migration Report: http://www.eib.org/infocentre/publications/all/migration-and-the-eu-challenges-opportunities-the-role-of-eib.htm