CEB approves € 121.5 million to Lithuania for investments in emergency healthcare, education for all, and sustainable mobility
6 July 2020
PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved a € 100 million loan to support the Lithuanian government’s response to COVID-19 and a € 21.5 million loan to Kauno Autobusai, the public transport company in Kaunas City Municipality, for investments in sustainable mobility.
The financing approved in support of the Government’s COVID-19 response plan will cover the purchase of personal protective equipment, reagents, medical equipment, and consumables, for the use of healthcare workers and the benefit of people seeking treatment. CEB financing may also finance the acquisition and lease of computers for socially disadvantaged pupils who do not have access to remote learning. The loan builds on and doubles the financing made available by the CEB in April 2020 to enable the Government to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds provided by the CEB to Kauno Autobusai will support the purchase of 100 hybrid buses, fully adapted to the needs of people with limited mobility. The new fleet will improve public transport services as well as help to reduce the company’s fossil fuel consumption and, thus, its greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the investment will contribute to Kaunas’s overall goal of encouraging residents to reduce private car use in favour of fast, comfortable, and safe public transport while improving access to jobs, education, services, and amenities for people with disabilities.
CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Since March 2020, the CEB has mobilised more than €3 billion to support its member countries in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating its impact on the economy and on the most vulnerable. As Europe is planning for its economic recovery, we are pleased to be able to provide concrete support to Lithuania in containing the pandemic and creating sustainable growth opportunities for all.”
Lithuania joined the CEB in January 1996. To date, the CEB has approved €665 million in loans to support investments in MSMEs, energy efficiency measures, and public social infrastructure across sectors and throughout the country. In addition, the CEB has mobilised donor funding from the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) to assist the municipalities of Jonava and Rukla with their cultural and housing initiatives aimed at migrant and refugee integration. More information is available here.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 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 (AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, 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.