The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Republic of Armenia have signed a grant agreement under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) to support the completion of the North-South Road Corridor, a strategic part of Armenia’s transport infrastructure.

The NIF budget made available a grant of EUR 12 million to the Republic of Armenia for the North-South Road Corridor Investment Programme. The NIF grant is made available by the EIB on behalf of the European Commission to the Republic of Armenia. It consists of two components: a EUR 6 million investment grant and a EUR 6 million technical assistance component. The purpose of the agreement signed today is to set the terms and conditions for the EUR 6 million investment grant component to finance works and supplies necessary for the Armenia North-South Road Corridor Investment Programme. The agreement for making available the EUR 6 million technical assistance component was already signed last year.

EIB Vice-President Jan Vapaavuori, commented: I very much appreciate that the European Investment Bank together with the European Commission are joining forces with the Republic of Armenia to develop adequate, efficient and safe road infrastructure improving people’s quality of everyday life and fostering economic growth and regional cooperation.”

Minister of Finance of the Republic of Armenia Mr Vardan Aramyan highlighted the importance of infrastructure projects in Armenia, expressed gratitude to the EU for its continuous support through NIF funding and especially stressed the fruitful cooperation with the EIB aimed at infrastructural development and its efforts for mobilising grant resources.

H.E. Piotr Antoni Świtalski, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia added: "For a country like Armenia, connectivity is a necessity" and continued by underlining that "the EU is delighted to be able to contribute to the efforts made by the EIB to ensure that Armenian citizens and businesses can circulate more freely and safely in Armenia and access more easily other neighbouring territories and markets."

In 2013 the EIB signed a EUR 60 million loan to finance the upgrading of the North-South Road Corridor – the key transport corridor in Armenia. This project promotes economic and social development in Armenia and improves regional integration, with significant benefits for the whole region. This project is part of an ambitious programme aimed at improving the 556 km North-South Road Corridor running from the border with Georgia at Bavra to the border with Iran at Meghri via the cities of Bavra, Gyumri, Ashtarak, Yerevan, Goris, Comer, Kapan and Meghri.