Governor discusses progress in implementation of CEB-funded projects in Turkey

29 September 2021

Ankara - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, concluded an official visit to Turkey where he met with high-level government officials to discuss ongoing CEB-funded projects in the field of emergency preparedness, transport, and health.

In his meetings with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lutfi Elvan, Minister of Treasury and Finance, and Fahrettin Koca, Minister of Health, the Governor highlighted the importance of CEB’s continued support for the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP) to which the Bank has channeled € 600 million since 2010. The CEB and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance signed the third loan agreement worth € 100 million earlier this week.

“Preventing natural catastrophes and aiding post-disaster reconstruction process constitute one of the Bank’s statutory priorities, which is why I would like to underline that the CEB stands ready to contribute to Turkey’s ongoing efforts, including those in the aftermath of devastating wild fires and floods this summer,” Governor Wenzel said.

With respect to CEB’s fast-track COVID loans, Governor Wenzel inquired about short- and medium-term plans to overcome the negative impacts of the pandemic. The Bank approved € 200 million to the Ministry of Health to purchase equipment, medicine and consumables for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. It released the first tranche of € 100 million in November 2020, and the second one in May 2021.

Finally, Governor Wenzel visited the CEB project office in Ankara, the Bank’s first ever office outside of Paris that opened in March this year. There he discussed progress in the implementation of the Strengthening Health Care Infrastructure for All (SHIFA), a new project funded under the European Union’s Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT) that aims to make health care services more accessible to refugees and strengthen the overall health infrastructure in the country.

“I am very pleased with our cooperation with Turkish authorities,” Governor Wenzel concluded. “The size of CEB’s current loan portfolio in Turkey exceeds 1.6 billion euros, which is a clear indicator of the scope of our activities and of our ambition to make a meaningful social impact for the citizens of Turkey.”

Turkey was one of the eight Council of Europe member countries that established the CEB in April 1956. Underlining the strong CEB-Turkey relationship, nearly € 7 billion have been approved in support of projects in Turkey since the inception of the Bank’s activities. Over the past twenty years the CEB has approved nearly € 2.8 billion in financing to support investments in MSMEs, sustainable public transport, prevention of natural disasters, and COVID-19 response measures. More information can be found 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 (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive 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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