Spain: CEB supports Comunidad de Madrid health sector with € 200 million amid COVID-19 crisis

25 April 2020

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and Comunidad de Madrid signed an agreement of 200 million euros to support the latter’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforce the level of medical services provided to its citizens in the context of the ongoing health crisis.  

Spain has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and Comunidad de Madrid, which has a population of almost 7 million inhabitants, accounts for almost one third of all confirmed cases in the country. As a result, its health and social care systems have come under tremendous strain over the past couple of months and there are increased needs in the region for medical facilities, equipment and staff.

The loan provided by the CEB will finance part of the unforeseen expenditures associated with the management of the pandemic. More specifically, the funds will cover supplementary medical and pharmaceutical supplies; specialised equipment needed for COVID-19 patients, such as ventilators; additional medical staff including doctors and nurses as well as auxiliary staff; supplementary contractors for cleaning and disinfection services. These will benefit the population at large, particularly the region’s 1.2 million inhabitants who are over 65 years old. 

Javier Fernández Lasquetty, Regional Minister of Finance said “I would like to thank the CEB for the support provided to Comunidad de Madrid, which will help to mitigate the effects of the health crisis due to COVID-19.”

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “In light of this unprecedented crisis, there is an immediate need to strengthen the health capacity of CEB member countries in order to assist them in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan agreement signed with Comunidad de Madrid, the first one signed between the CEB and a European region in these difficult circumstances, will alleviate the strain on the health sector and mitigate the effects of the crisis on the local population.”

The loan agreement is the third between the CEB and Comunidad de Madrid and one of the very first approved by fast-track procedure as part of the CEB’s immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The signing was carried out via electronic signatures in compliance with COVID-19 lockdown conditions in Spain and France.

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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