CEB approves € 152 million loan to Hungary to help combat COVID-19 pandemic

14 June 2021

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved an additional € 152 million loan to finance emergency expenditure by the Hungarian Government in order toprovide medical supplies and services to those affected by COVID-19.

The Hungarian Government allocated a total of € 1.5 billion from the COVID-19 extraordinary budget for procurement of medical equipment and supplies in 2020. While vaccination is currently advancing ahead of EU averages, funding for additional preventive and diagnostic supplies and equipment remains crucial.

The CEB is providing a loan of €152 million in addition to the € 175 million already approved in April 2020, bringing the total financing package for Hungary’s COVID-19 related expenditure to € 327 million. The additional loan amount will cover eligible budgetary health expenditures and essential measures foreseen under the state of emergency, including medical supplies needed in the continuous fight against the pandemic. The CEB financing aims to support Hungary in strengthening its healthcare system through provision of additional specialised medical and pharmaceutical equipment, as well as supplementary intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

Beneficiaries will remain the Hungarian population at large and, in particular, persons infected by COVID-19 in need of a broad range of services, from medical consultation and testing to acute treatment and immunisation, as well as medical staff exposed to the virus.

As emphasised by CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel, “the CEB has provided rapid response to aid its member countries in their fight against the COVID-19 health emergency and approved more than €3 billion in financing since the outbreak of the pandemic so far. The CEB is pleased to continue providing critical support to Hungarian authorities in their efforts to ensure adequate medical assistance to those affected by COVID-19 and swiftly address the fallout from the health emergency in the country”.

Since joining the CEB in 1998, Hungary has benefitted from more than € 2 billion in financing for a wide range of social investments, from education to municipal infrastructure improvements in a number of eligible sectors. Hungary has contributed grant resources to the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund.

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 (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable and AAA* with Scope 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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