EIB Vice President visits Barbados to confirm backing for new Caribbean sustainable energy projects
11 October 2016
European Investment Bank Vice President, Pim van Ballekom, presented the EIB’s Energy priorities and financing options for the Caribbean, during the EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference in Barbados today.
The EIB Vice President signed a joint declaration between the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the Caribbean Forum of Countries (CARIFORUM – CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) on reinforced co-operation in the field of sustainable and renewable energy. During his visit the Vice President met senior government representatives in Barbados to discuss current and future EIB supported projects in the country.
Barbados has benefited from EIB support since 1979 and has received EUR 110 million for the financing of 13 projects in the country. The Barbados Airport which received an EIB loan is one of the flagship projects in the region. During the EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference, Pim van Ballekom outlined an ambition to increase climate action project financing and highlighted the need for more investment in sustainable energy projects across the region.
Commenting on the conference, the Vice President said: “The EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference provides a real opportunity for us to collaborate with key local and international partners in the region to together find solutions to some of the challenges for the region. Sustainable energy and climate action remain key priorities for the EIB and we are keen to support more projects in this sector both in Barbados and across the region.
The tragic consequences of Hurricane Matthew with loss of life and devastating damage across the region, again highlights the importance of climate action and resilience projects in the Caribbean.”
During the margins of the conference, the EIB signed an agreement with respect to its largest loan in the Caribbean for an energy loss reduction project in the Dominican Republic. The EIB also announced a decision to strengthen engagement across the Eastern Caribbean, by assigning a dedicated investment officer to be stationed in Barbados, Floris Vermeulen.
With EUR 77.5 billion of investments in 2015, the EIB is the largest multilateral public bank in the world and roughly 10% of its lending targets investments outside of the European Union. It is owned directly by the 28 European Union Member States.
The European Investment Bank has supported development and economic activity in the Caribbean with loans and equity investment worth EUR 1.6 bn. In Barbados, the EIB has provided a total of EUR 110 million to projects in the energy, transport, water, and private sector development (SMEs) sectors.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and European Investment Bank (EIB) are partnering to provide EUR 30 million (USD 36 million) to CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) for health-related emergency expenditure, including the purchase of vaccines against COVID-19, investments in healthcare, and efforts to limit the spread of the virus. The funding will help protect vulnerable groups and accelerate the region’s return to normal economic activities.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is partnering with the Government of Barbados to provide EUR 50 million (USD 60 million) for COVID-related emergency healthcare expenditure, targeting both medical care and efforts to limit the spread of the virus.
The EIB has agreed to support priority water investment across Barbados, to improve water supply across the country. The USD 12 million loan to the Ministry of Finance will allow the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to rehabilitate the island’s drinking water distribution network by improving efficiency, service quality and resilience to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. The investments will also lead to improvements to the deteriorated wastewater treatment facilities in the water-scarce country.