ZAGREB (Croatia), October 10 (SeeNews) – The European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Friday their joint initiative in support of Central and Southeast Europe has beaten funding targets, delivering a crucial lifeline to the economies in the region.
The three institutions launched their Joint IFI Action Plan (JIAP) for Growth for the region in November 2012, when recovery from the global crisis was under threat and funding from abroad was drying up.
With a pledge to provide support of at least 30 billion euro ($38 billion) by the end of 2014, they aimed to stabilize financial systems in the region and ensure that finance kept flowing to key economic sectors.
By the end of July 2014, the three international financial institutions (IFIs) had already overtaken their target with joint financing of 33.6 billion euro, and were still investing strongly in the region. All three IFIs plan to provide continued financing as needed, they said in a joint statement.
The plan prioritized funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises that are key to job creation and innovation in Europe, filling a financing gap as parents of western banks retrenched. The funding also helped build up competitiveness by strengthening transport systems while putting a strong focus on achieving greater energy security and efficiency and increasing the sustainability of energy production.
Looking ahead, the IFIs warned the region will continue to face significant challenges, including the negative impact of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
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