Speaking at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York, President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer has called for new partnerships to tackle the migration and refugee challenges. He also laid out the EIB’s new Economic Resilience Initiative for the Western Balkans and EU Southern Neighbourhood, endorsed by EU leaders three months ago. President Hoyer was participating in a special roundtable hosted by Queen Rania of Jordan.
“The current [refugee and migration] crises are not only humanitarian and social ones, but are also global economic crises… and, as such, we must provide an effective economic response,” he said.
“As one of the major international financial institutions globally, at the EIB we are already stepping up our contribution to address the root causes of migration. We are collaborating more closely than ever with other international financial institutions and national promotional and development institutions to make sure that we all use our capacities to promote sustainable economic development.”
“An example of such commitment is the implementation of our own Economic Resilience Initiative for Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans… I am happy to announce that, less than three months after endorsement of the Resilience Facility by the European Council, the first projects are ready to be rolled out. They will have a particular focus on young people and women, with increased investment in socially important sectors like water, health and education.”
“To further enhance the impact of the initiative, we urge all our European and international partners and stakeholders to join us and contribute with additional grants for investment, technical assistance and impact financing."
President Hoyer underlined the need for new partnerships and concluded: “We stand ready to work hand-in-hand with the international development community at large to improve the lives of those affected by forced migration and help build more resilient economies that tackle its root causes. With your support and in partnership with all of you, we can and we must do more.”
See full speech.
The Economic Resilience Initiative is complementary to the External Investment Plan announced by EU Commission President Juncker in Strasbourg last week. Under this initiative, the EIB will increase its support to the Southern Neighbourhood, which includes countries in the Middle East and North Africa as well as the Western Balkans. The initiative would mean additional investments of EUR 6 billion, on top of the EUR 7.5 billion of EIB financing already planned for these two regions, the largest of any international financial institution.
The EIB estimates the initiative will trigger EUR 15 billion euros of additional investment in these regions up to 2020, taking the total EIB mobilisation of investment in the regions to some EUR 35 billion.
In New York, President Hoyer has also announced the new the ‘Africa-Caribbean-Pacific migration package’ recently approved by EU Member States and the European Commission. This will provide another EUR 300 million euros for impact financing aimed at small business, alongside EUR 500 million for migration-focused operations, notably in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the light of the on-going refugee crisis, the European Council requested in March the European Investment Bank (EIB) to rapidly mobilise “additional financing in support of sustainable growth, vital infrastructure and social cohesion in Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans countries.”
In June EU Leaders endorsed the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative
Last year, the EIB group provided nearly EUR 8 billion in financing for projects and initiatives outside Europe. The EIB has been active outside the EU for over 50 years and is firmly committed to supporting EU development policies in non-EU countries.
We are present in some 160 countries, including Least Developed Countries and countries facing acute political and economic crisis.
Our activity outside the EU is mostly in the form of loans, but we also provide equity investments and other instruments, in addition to technical assistance and advisory services to enhance project preparation and quality.
Our non-EU operations support the objectives of the EU Agenda for Change and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants