• The technical assistance (TA) will start identifying suitable projects in 15 countries in the Caribbean, in the water, sanitation and solid waste sectors, as well as those contributing to flood protection and healthy oceans.
  • The TA will support the preparation and implementation of selected projects without charge, delivering on the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda.  
  • It is funded by an €8.5 million grant from the EU’s Caribbean Investment Facility.
  • The TA consortium is based in the Caribbean and will be meeting with interested promoters in the coming months.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), as part of Team Europe, announced today the launch of the technical assistance facility for the Caribbean Sustainable Water Management and Clean Oceans programme. The facility will provide specialist technical support for the identification, preparation and implementation of water, sanitation, solid waste, flood protection and clean oceans projects in the Caribbean. It will help projects comply with high environmental and social standards, contribute to gender equality and promote climate resilience. The EIB is offering financial support for selected projects through a €150 million programme loan. The facility will help implement the Global Gateway Investment Agenda launched at the EU-CELAC Summit in July 2023.

“EIB Global is committed to addressing water challenges and promoting climate resilience and adaptation around the world, and especially in the Caribbean, which is disproportionately affected by climate change impacts. Sustainable water management leads to better health for both people and the planet, as well as to stronger economies and more resilient communities,” said EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix.

European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen said, “Following the EU-CELAC Summit in July, the Global Gateway Investment Agenda will support the region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Caribbean is one of regions most vulnerable to climate change, as I could witness during my visit last year. This announcement underscores the importance of our partnership with the Caribbean through Global Gateway: together we are helping families, enterprises and governments take steps to adapt to a changing world and deliver help – for critical services such as water – wherever and whenever they need it the most.”

The Caribbean is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate-change-related extreme weather events and sea level rises and Caribbean voices are some of the strongest in the call for climate action. More violent storms, rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall are increasing the pressure on both water infrastructure and the surrounding seas. The water sector in the Caribbean is challenged by aging equipment and pipes, high water losses, inadequate wastewater treatment capacity and lack of storage capacity. Meanwhile, the marine ecosystem and coastal economy and communities are threatened by warmer seas, ocean acidification and storm surges.

The technical assistance is funded by an €8.5 million grant from the European Union’s Caribbean Investment Facility. It will be delivered by a consortium of COWI, EGIS, HR Wallingford and NOWAL, supervised by the EIB, operating out of Barbados but across the region. Specialist technical expertise and advice will ensure high-impact, sustainable projects providing, for example, more reliable and efficient water supply, increased access to clean water, improved stormwater drainage management and flood protection as well as better wastewater and solid waste collection and treatment.

The launch was announced within the framework of the 19th High-Level Forum for Caribbean Ministers Responsible for Water during the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association Annual Conference taking place from 23 to 27 October in Guyana.

Background information

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. The EIB has been supporting projects in the Caribbean since 1978, facilitating long-term investment with favourable conditions and providing technical support to ensure the projects have a positive social, economic and environmental impact.

The EIB is one of the largest lenders to the global water sector, with close to €79 billion invested in over 1 600 projects improving sanitation, providing access to safe drinking water and reducing the risk of flooding. 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.

EIB Global is the EIB Group's specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance, and a key partner in Global Gateway. We aim to support €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027, around one third of the overall target of this EU initiative. With Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships, alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.

About Global Gateway

Global Gateway is the European strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world. Through a 'Team Europe approach', Global Gateway brings together the EU, its Member States and their financial and development institutions to mobilise the private sector to leverage investments for a transformational impact. It aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in investments. Global Gateway is fully aligned with the UN’s Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement.

Global Gateway Investment Agenda (GGIA) for the Caribbean

One of the main deliverables of the EU-CELAC Summit on 17/18 July 2023 was the Global Gateway Investment Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). EU involvement focuses on green, digital, and fair transitions and requires buy-in from EU Member States and financial institutions to be successful. Key to the success of Global Gateway in Latin America and the Caribbean is the involvement of the private sector. The main priorities for GGIA for the Caribbean are the following: sargassum, maritime transport, renewable energy & water resource management.

The Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF) promotes investment in local infrastructure projects, with a view to supporting economic development and growth, regional integration and poverty reduction in the Caribbean. The facility’s goal is to mobilise loans and other forms of support for projects that struggle to raise adequate financing. The CIF fills these funding gaps by pooling grant resources from EU partners and catalysing additional investment.