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CEB to provide €80 million loan to Portugal to rehabilitate its irrigation system

21 November 2017

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved a €80 million loan to finance the rehabilitation and extension of Portugal’s irrigation system, with a view to supporting the development of sustainable agriculture in the country and improving living conditions in rural areas. 

The CEB funds will contribute to Portugal’s National Irrigation Programme (NIP). The NIP is aimed at the rehabilitation and extension of irrigation systems around the country, to cover an area of more than 75 000 hectares.

Expected to benefit directly from the CEB loan are the owners and administrators of irrigation systems throughout Portugal, including local authorities, farmer associations and irrigation companies. The financing will have a positive impact on the population of rural areas, particularly those involved in agriculture and related sectors such as food storage, processing, transportation and trade, and is expected to boost regional development and promote social cohesion.

In addition, through the expansion of irrigated land and the creation of green barriers, the CEB loan will contribute to the fight against ecological and natural disasters such as desertification and wildfires and will thus benefit the population at large.

In recent months, Portugal has experienced serious wildfire incidents, which resulted in considerable environmental damage and loss of human life.

Portugal has been a CEB member since 1976. The Bank has been contributing to the implementation of the country’s social policies, co-financing investments in the areas of social housing, urban development, environmental protection, health and education infrastructure, support for small and medium-sized businesses, and assistance to the victims of natural disasters. The CEB is also supporting the social integration of migrants and refugees in the country.

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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