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Greece: CEB supports health sector with €200 million amid COVID-19 crisis

13 May 2020

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved a € 200 million loan to support Greece’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthen the country’s health sector and enhance the level of medical services provided to the population in the context of the ongoing health crisis. 

The Greek government took early on a series of measures to combat the pandemic and contain the spread of the virus. As a result, Greece has registered a very low number of deaths and confirmed cases. Nevertheless, the health crisis has put pressure on the national health system and caused considerable budgetary strain.    

The CEB loan will support the health sector by providing financing for the unforeseen expenditures associated with the management of the crisis, including mitigation measures. More specifically, the funds will cover medical and pharmaceutical supplies, specialised equipment for COVID-19 patients and protective equipment for health workers, the hiring of additional medical staff as well as auxiliary staff for hospitals and health care centres, patient transportation costs, and various other services essential for the management of the pandemic and contracted to third parties.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “The CEB continues to take swift action to support its members in their fight against this unprecedented health crisis. The health sector is where there are increased needs at the moment everywhere in Europe, so we are pleased to be supporting CEB founding member Greece in its efforts to strengthen its health capacity and alleviate the pressures from the pandemic on its national health system.”

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