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CEB extends €200 million loan to Serbia for health infrastructure

19 November 2018

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a substantial €200 million loan to the Serbian government to support investments in health infrastructure throughout the country.  

Determined to tackle the challenges facing its healthcare system, including facilities in need of modernisation and an ageing population, the Serbian government has decided to take a series of measures in order to improve health infrastructure, equipment and services. 

The loan provided by the CEB will be used to a large extent for the refurbishment of some 20 general hospitals throughout the country and for the acquisition of modern equipment. The renovation of existing buildings will also include energy efficiency improvements as well as measures to improve access for persons with disabilities. 

The investments will significantly improve conditions for patients and medical staff, increase the efficiency of the services provided thanks to the use of modern equipment, and enhance the energy efficiency and functionality of the buildings concerned. It is estimated that close to 20% of the population of Serbia will benefit from the project, or around 1.3 million persons. 

Governor Wenzel said: “I am pleased that the latest project approved will further expand the already excellent cooperation between Serbia and the CEB. The financing of public infrastructure, particularly in the health sector, is one of the CEB’s top priorities, not least because access to appropriate healthcare is an essential part of social development. The CEB remains firmly committed to providing support and expertise to its member countries for social investments of this kind.”        

During his official visit to Serbia last month, Governor Wenzel inaugurated along with Prime Minister Ana Brnabić the Dragiša Mišović Hospital in Belgrade, one of seven medical institutions in the Serbian capital co-financed by the CEB. The CEB is also supporting preparations for the construction of a new University Children’s Hospital in Belgrade.  

Serbia has been a CEB member since 2004. The CEB’s lending portfolio in the country is in the range of € 450 million, focusing mainly on social infrastructure in the areas of housing, education and penitentiary centres, as well as support for micro, small and medium-sized businesses through local partner banks. Serbia is an active partner of the Bank in the framework of the CEB-managed Regional Housing Programme (RHP) and the programme’s largest beneficiary. Also, CEB refugee grants to Serbia under the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) since 2016 have exceeded € 3.5 million.

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.

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