• €150 million investment from the EIB will improve climate resilience and preserve the oceans in the Caribbean, as part of the Clean Oceans Initiative;
  • The project backed by the European Union, will also benefit from Technical Assistance and Investment Grants under the Caribbean Investment Facility;
  • The water project contributes to the achievement of a number of Sustainable Development Goals and to building the Caribbean’s resilience to pandemics such as Covid-19.

The European Investment Bank is partnering with the European Commission to improve water and sanitation networks in the Caribbean. The EIB’s €150 million programme loan will help to improve climate resilience and contribute to healthy oceans through new investments in security of water supply, wastewater treatment, solid waste and storm-water management across the region. The loan approval was announced at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon.

EIB Vice-President, Ricardo Mourinho with oversight of Blue Economy and institutional relations with Latin America and the Caribbean States said: “As the EU climate bank, the EIB is committed to securing clean water, whilst ensuring that water infrastructure is protected from the impacts of climate change. Clean water and sanitation are crucial for sustainable economic growth, and for protecting health during infectious disease outbreaks such as the COVID-19. As the largest lender to the water sector globally, the EIB is pleased to be financing and providing its expertise to improve the region’s drinking water and sanitation services. This project contributes to the Clean Oceans Initiative and builds on our strong track record of supporting high-impact investment in the Caribbean in the context of the wider EU Team Europe Initiative”.

Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, building inclusive and equitable partnerships, outlined: “Sustainable water management and sanitation is a key element of clean and green transitions needed all over the world. During my recent mission to the region, we have started rolling out Global Gateway, the EU’s strategy for investments in sustainable and high-quality infrastructure, in Latin America and the Caribbean. The European Investment Bank is a key strategic partner as part of this effort. The partnership for a new investment facility resources for urgent Water, Sanitation and Clean Ocean projects in the Caribbean will go a long away to implement Global Gateway with concrete projects, contributing to sustainable economic growth and human development”.

The programme loan goes hand in hand with the approval of Technical Assistance and Investment Grants under the Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF). The loans are expected to be covered by a comprehensive Guarantee under NDICI Global Europe Instrument.

Impact of the water project in the Caribbean

In concrete terms, the investments will mostly finance water supply systems to reduce technical losses (increasing security of supply, energy savings, revenue increase), expanded water networks for customers relying on stand-pipes (improving access to water, time savings, hygiene, quality of life, public health, revenue increase) and sanitation network investments to reduce the use of pit-latrines and septic tanks (public health, environmental protection).

The new financing will enable the construction of new and upgraded wastewater treatment plants (public health, environmental protection, healthy oceans, water re-use, revenue increase) while allowing for improved drainage and storm-water management (public health, environmental protection, healthy ocean, flood prevention) and better solid waste collection and treatment.

International cooperation and development goals

The objectives of this Programme Loan closely match the EU regional strategic objectives for the 2021- 2027 Regional Multi-annual Indicative Plan (MIP) for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Specifically for the Caribbean Window, the programme would help meeting the policy objectives of the “Caribbean-EU Partnership for a Green Deal”, including better water resources conservation; waste management; biodiversity; and disaster risk reduction.

The operation will support a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty reduction, good health, climate action and clean water and sanitation.

The EIB in Latin America

The EIB provides economic support for projects in the Caribbean by facilitating long-term investment with favourable conditions and by providing the technical support needed to ensure that these projects deliver positive social, economic and environmental results. The EIB has been working in the Caribbean since 1978, granting almost €2 billion in financing for 221 operations.

Background information:

About EIB Global:  The European Investment Bank (ElB) 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 objectives.  As the EU’s climate bank, the EIB committed to support EUR 1 trillion of climate action and environmental sustainability investments in the next decade. Under its Blue Sustainable Ocean Strategy, the EIB supports investments that will contribute to improve the health of the oceans and their resources. 

More information about EIB’s activities to preserve the oceans.