Italy: CEB and City of Genoa sign €50 million loan agreement to increase city’s resilience to natural disasters
24 October 2019
Genoa – The Mayor of the City of Genoa, Marco Bucci, and the Vice-Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Carlo Monticelli, signed today a €50 million loan agreement aimed at financing Genoa’s strategic investments in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness. The signing was also attended by Sonia Viale, Vice President of the Liguria Region.
The financing granted by the CEB intends to support the City’s budgetary needs and its efforts to improve resilience and reduce vulnerability to natural disasters. Investments to be financed will focus on reducing the consequences of climate change, such as floods and landslides, to which the City is particularly exposed due to its urban topography. The investment plan also addresses the economic vulnerability of a declining workforce and the social challenges associated with the City’s ageing population.
The CEB’s intervention comes at a crucial moment for Genoa, in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Morandi Bridge in 2018, with its casualties and the ensuing strains on the City’s and the surrounding population. These critical events further highlighted the need for Genoa to develop a comprehensive resilience strategy to increase the level of disaster preparedness, safeguarding the safety of its citizens, and the integrity of its social fabric.
The present Public Financing Facility (PFF) initiates the relationship between the CEB and the City of Genoa. It confirms the CEB’s capacity to offer a timely response in support of local authorities and vulnerable persons, providing the City with flexible resources at very attractive pricing. It comes on the heels of a €70 million agreement between the CEB and the Region of Liguria to finance the Region’s three-year investment plan, aimed at improving safety, maintaining and upgrading regional infrastructures and facilities, and modernising public administration services.
Mayor Marco Bucci said: “Genoa is a beautiful maritime city, squeezed onto a narrow and stunning coastal plain on the western slopes of the Apennine Mountains. Due to its urban topography, the city is also vulnerable to natural disasters, such as floods and landslides. The role of local governments in dealing with risk reduction has been recognised as a key factor to build resilient communities. We are strongly committed to protecting our environment and safeguarding our citizens from associated risks. But as local authorities we should be empowered to manage and reduce disaster risks by having access to the necessary resources to implement our actions and strategies. This is why we appreciate this important initiative by the CEB which will support the City’s needs.”
The President of the Liguria Region, Giovanni Toti, said: “Risk mitigation and soil protection to make the lives of our fellow citizens safer, even in adverse weather and climate conditions, is one of the matters on which the Regional Council of Liguria has been most committed since our establishment. The construction sites opened work at great speed to give Genoa and Liguria the infrastructures expected for years, in some cases for decades, such as the project to reduce the overflow of the Bisagno stream, which we recently presented. Today's signature marks a further step forward to enable local administrations to intervene even more effectively on the front of the prevention of calamitous events.”
Vice-Governor Carlo Monticelli said: “Regions and other local governments play a crucial role in improving citizen’s living conditions and in fostering sustainable and inclusive growth, while facing complex challenges. The CEB supports cities and regions across Europe in their transition to inclusive, social and economic development. I am particularly pleased that, with this signature, the CEB’s starts a long-term partnership, and I stress long term, to promote this objective with Genoa, my home town, to which I have always felt deeply attached”.
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.