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    The EFSD constitutes the first pillar of the External Investment Plan, with the key objective to provide an integrated financial package to finance investments in the regions of sub-Saharan Africa and the European Neighbourhood. It includes both blending operations and guarantees.

    The EFSD Guarantee supports operations that:

    • address market failures or sub-optimal investments situations;
    • ensure complementarity with other initiatives;
    • ensure alignment of interest by providing adequate risk sharing between partners;
    • are economically and financially viable (in some cases more concessional terms can be given);
    • are technically viable and sustainable from an environmental and social point of view;
    • maximise the mobilisation of private sector capital.

    Priority sectors

    The EFSD Guarantee covers investments under five thematic investment windows:

    • Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) financing;
    • Sustainable energy and connectivity;
    • Sustainable agriculture, rural entrepreneurs and agro business;
    • Digital for development; and
    • Sustainable cities.

    The guarantee also supports investments for financing in the health sector, notably to improve lab and diagnostic services for low income populations.

    Such projects typically have a higher risk profile than the portfolio of investments supported by the eligible counterparts under their nominal investment policies without the EFSD Guarantee.

    It is possible to combine financing with technical assistance to assist with sourcing and preparation of projects, as well as their implementation.

    With the support of EFSD, SME Access to Finance Initiative aims to enhance access to finance for small and medium businesses in the EU's neighbouring countries and Sub-Saharan Africa.

    In addition, EFSD also strongly supports the European Health Platform (EHP) initiative. EHP contributes via its vaccine component to the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines by countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the European Neighbourhood through the Gavi COVAX facility. Through its diagnostics component, EHP also aims to significantly improve access and quality of laboratory and diagnostic services for low-income populations in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Operations launched under the EFSD Guarantee include:

    Geographic scope

    The EFSD Guarantee finances projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, the EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Southern Neighbourhood.

    How to get support

    Contact the EIB Information Desk for enquiries regarding the financing facilities, activity, organisation and objectives of the EIB.

    About the External Investment Plan

    The EU's External Investment Plan (EIP) aims to encourage investment in the EU partner countries in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood region. It promotes inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development and so tackle some of the root causes of irregular migration.

    The EIP follows an integrated approach consisting of three pillars:

    • Pillar 1: the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD);
    • Pillar 2: technical assistance to help authorities and companies to develop sustainable projects, and
    • Pillar 3: activities promoting a conducive investment climate by broadening partnerships between the EU and its partner countries.

    The European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) comprises, beside the EFSD Guarantee two regional blending investment platforms:

    EIB Global

    For more than 50 years, the EIB has been the European Union’s international development bank. Our key investments across the world help create stability, promote sustainable growth and fight climate change everywhere.

    What is blending?

    Blending involves the strategic use of a limited amount of grant resources to catalyse additional financing for development projects. Grants are often combined with loans, equity, beneficiary resources or other forms of financing, with the aim of de-risking projects and making them bankable. Blending allows partners to get the most out of their grant resources and enhance their overall development impact.

    Our blending facilities

    The European Investment Bank carries out global blending operations, through seven regional investment facilities and other thematic blending funds.