The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR 500 000 donation to REVITA fund, as part of the Bank’s response to the devastating forest fires in central Portugal that hit the country on 17 June 2017 causing many deaths and injuring more than 250 people. The EIB funds will be used for the reconstruction of destroyed homes to support the Portuguese people after the massive fires.

Francisco de Paula Coelho, Dean of the EIB Institute, said: “Today’s announcement underlines the EIB’s commitment to supporting the victims of humanitarian catastrophes. The EIB group renews its deepest condolences to all those that lost family members or friends in this terrible tragedy and its sincere appreciation to all the firefighters that put their lives at stake to protect others.” 

The EIB Group, in an effort coordinated by the EIB Institute, raised money among its staff, which was topped up by the Bank itself, and decided to donate EUR 500 000 to help the victims of the fire. These EIB funds will be donated to the REVITA fund recently created by the Portuguese authorities to help the local population and revitalise the impacted area.

The EIB Group has in the recent past contributed to relief efforts for other humanitarian disasters including the Italian earthquake in August 2016, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in October 2016 and the flooding and mudslides in Peru and Colombia in 2017.

The EIB and Portugal

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

In 2016, the EIB Group, which comprises the EIB and its subsidiary the European Investment Fund, provided EUR 33 600 million for small businesses, reaching 300 000 companies throughout Europe. In Portugal, in the same year, the EIB Group signed loan agreements totalling EUR 1 780 million, including EUR 1 196 million that contributed to supporting more than 8 200 Portuguese SMEs.

40 years of activity in Portugal: the EIB is a long-standing partner of Portugal. The EU bank initiated its support for the Portuguese economy in 1976, even before the country’s accession to the then European Community in 1986. So far, the EIB has lent over EUR 45 000 million to fund projects in Portugal. The EIB Group has provided financing to more than 25 000 SMEs through credit lines deployed in cooperation with the national banking system. 40 years of a strong relationship in the financing of major projects throughout the country that has contributed to the modernisation of Portugal.

For further information about the EIB in Portugal, click here.

The EIB Institute was set up within the EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund) to promote initiatives for the common good in Europe, mostly in EU Member States. This includes reducing inequalities, enhancing knowledge, innovation and competitiveness and ensuring cohesion throughout Europe.

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Bruno Rossignol,