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CEB finances € 300 million flood protection project in Poland

2 October 2015

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved today a € 300 million loan to Poland for a major flood protection project in the basins of the rivers Odra and Vistula. CEB funds will cover one-fourth of total project costs. Meeting in Paris, the Administrative Council of the Bank also approved a substantial € 1.3 million for technical assistance.

The Odra and the Vistula river basins cover about 98% of the country’s territory and both rivers are prone to flooding. The CEB loan will reinforce the Polish government’s flood protection strategy in those areas and will strengthen central and local authorities’ institutional capacity to manage floods more effectively.

The project is expected to have a high social impact. It will increase the protection level of major population centres, industrial areas and property. It will also improve the safety of an estimated 15 million persons living in close proximity, 5 million of whom are directly exposed to flood-related risks. In addition, it will prevent large-scale damage to cultural heritage and historical monuments.

The technical assistance provided by the CEB will add significant value to the project in two areas. First, it will help to better integrate climate change and land-use change aspects in the design of flood protection infrastructure. The aim is to provide a “good practice” adaptation methodology that can be used in other flood management projects in Poland. Second, it will increase understanding of the social dimensions of flood management at all government levels in Poland and will draw attention to key elements, such as an effective information and engagement strategy with the affected population.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “This is an important project for Poland, with a major social added value, and it is expected to support the country’s development objectives. For almost two decades the CEB and Poland have had very good cooperation, which we look forward to continuing and strengthening in the future.”

Since becoming a CEB member in 1998, Poland has had close to € 4 billion in financing approved by the Bank. The sectors which have benefited the most are the creation and preservation of viable jobs and urban and rural modernisation, including flood protection works. Social projects in the areas of health and the protection of the physical and cultural environment have also received CEB financing.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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