Technical assistance and grants
The EU Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA)
The Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) was launched in 2010. Essentially it is a facility that is modelled on the NIF which aims to blend EU budget grant funding with loans by the financial institutions for 5 countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). With funds from the IFCA, the EIB has established a technical assistance unit in Kazakhstan in cooperation with the EU delegation in Astana. IFCA operates by providing financial non-refundable contributions to support loans to Central Asian countries from the EIB, the EBRD and other European multilateral and national development finance institutions. Its main purpose is to promote additional investments and key infrastructures with an initial priority focus on energy, environment, SMEs and social infrastructure. Based on the development of the Central Asia Strategies, a later extension to transport could be envisaged.
The contribution of the Commission to the IFCA is decided annually. The initial financial allocation made to the facility in 2010 was for EUR 20 million. A further EUR 45 million was provided for the period 2011-2013 and a further EUR 140 million is provided for the period 2014-2020. The financing instruments available under the IFCA are:
- investment co-financing in public infrastructure projects
- loan guarantee cost financing
- interest rate subsidy
- technical assistance
- risk capital operation (the two last ones being financed as part of a specific investment operation or as an envelope made available to the EIB).
To ensure overall coherence of the IFCA’s operations, the Commission is assisted by a board (‘IFCA board’). The Commission presides over the IFCA board, which is composed of representatives of the Commission, Member States and other donors. The board assists the Commission with setting the overall strategy and taking operational decisions. The board is served by a Secretariat managed by the Commission.