The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a USD 175 million loan to finance economic recovery in one of the areas most damaged by the earthquake that hit Ecuador last April. EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and Ecuador’s Finance Minister, Fausto Herrera, signed today in Luxembourg a loan agreement aimed at repairing or rebuilding basic social amenities destroyed by the earthquake in the province of Manabí.
The EIB’s financial support will help to rebuild schools, hospitals and roads and repair water and power supply facilities. Granted under the EU’s 2014-2020 lending mandate for Latin America, the loan will also contribute to reactivating the economy, helping to create jobs in an area in which more than 20 000 people lost their livelihood.
When signing today’s agreement, EIB Vice-President Román Escolano stressed the importance of this programme “to restore vital services for the people of Ecuador while fostering sustainable economic recovery that makes it possible to return to the levels of productivity that existed before the earthquake in Ecuador.”
Ecuador’s Finance Minister, Fausto Herrera, emphasised the significance of the EIB’s financial support “because it will enable us to continue assisting communities hit by the earthquake, which is the Government of Ecuador’s top priority, adding that “this loan forms part of the planned credit package aimed at rebuilding areas devastated by the earthquake and providing the people with important public services.”
Loan for Quito’s first metro line
The EIB and the Republic of Ecuador also signed today a USD 44 million loan to build Quito’s first metro line. The works began in 2013 thanks to an initial USD 259 million EIB loan and are now in their second phase. The new metro line – the country’s first – is scheduled to open in 2019. It will be 22.5 km long and have a transport capacity of more than 400 000 people a day. The EIB loan will finance the construction of 15 stations and a workshop and the purchase of 18 trains.
The project, which is also covered by the EU guarantee agreement, fits in with the EIB’s strategy of supporting investment in sustainable urban transport. Specifically, Quito’s new metro line will serve to reduce pollutant gas emissions by 30 000 tonnes.
The EIB and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a new partnership agreement to scale up their support to countries facing situations of emergency caused by epidemics, natural disasters, conflict and other types of fragility. This agreement will enable both institutions to reinforce the resilience of partner countries and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The immediate focus will be to address setbacks, mainly caused by the COVID-19 crisis, in Eastern and Southern neighborhood, Central Asia and Africa.
The EIB today approved € 5.1 billion of new financing to support investment by companies most impacted by COVID-19, alongside backing clean energy, water, sustainable transport and urban development. This includes up to € 1 billion COVID-19 support backed by the new European Guarantee Fund that has now started its operational activity.
The EIB is providing €50 million to the Autonomous Community of Navarre to strengthen its capacity to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis. The EU bank financing will enable the Spanish region to adapt its healthcare infrastructure to meet the additional costs generated by the pandemic.