CEB approves €300 million loan for social investments in the Netherlands

19 March 2018

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a €300 million loan to the Nederlandse Waterschapsbank N.V. (NWB Bank) in order to finance public infrastructure, social housing and energy efficiency investments across the Netherlands. 

NWB Bank provides loans to public authorities and public sector institutions in order to finance investments at the local level with the aim of improving living conditions in sectors such as housing, health, the environment and education. 

The CEB funds will support the three main pillars of public investment at the local level – social, energy efficiency and water – and will be channelled through NWB Bank to municipal and regional authorities, housing associations, healthcare institutions, education institutions, environmental and public transport entities, and water management authorities. 

It is anticipated that at least 50 social projects will benefit from CEB financing. In the social sector, CEB funds will be used for kindergarten and school buildings, social housing units, healthcare facilities, and various community services such as cultural and sports facilities, and public transport infrastructure. Beneficiaries will include vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, refugees and homeless persons. 

In terms of energy efficiency, it is expected that the funds will support renewable energy investments as well as energy efficiency improvements to buildings. In the area of water, the CEB loan will finance projects related to the improvement of drinking water supplies and water distribution, and also to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. 

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “By helping to improve and modernise regional and municipal infrastructure throughout the Netherlands, the CEB loan will benefit thousands of people, including vulnerable persons. We are happy that, thanks to our partnership with NWB Bank, we are able to respond effectively to the need for public infrastructure and renewable energy investments at the local level.”

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 positive 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.