Africa: European Investment Bank Responses for Natural Disasters in Africa

The European Investment Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have signed a new partnership agreement to scale up their support to countries facing situations of emergency caused by epidemics, natural disasters, conflict and other types of fragility, according to European Investment Bank.

This agreement will enable both institutions to reinforce the resilience of partner countries and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The immediate focus will be to address setbacks, mainly caused by the COVID-19 crisis, in Eastern and Southern neighborhood, Central Asia and Africa.

In situations of emergency, conducting project procurement can represent a challenge too high to ensure a timely response to populations’ urgent needs. This new agreement will enable the United Nations Development Program to carry out the procurement required for the implementation of projects financed by the European Investment Bank in such situations. United Nations Development Programme’s presence in fragile and conflict countries will greatly help European Investment Bank financing to reach the most vulnerable and allow both organizations to respond quicker to pressing requests.

During the online signing ceremony, Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank president, and Achim Steiner, United Nations Development Program Administrator, exchanged their views on these challenging times.

European investment Bank President Werner Hoyer said: “A coordinated response is paramount to help the most vulnerable countries recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The European Investment Bank, as part of “Team Europe”, has quickly reacted to the health crisis with the aim to build the grounds for a green and sustainable recovery. This Procedural Framework is a fundamental step towards a stronger cooperation with United Nations Development Program. It will allow us to leverage our respective strengths to get projects off the ground in situations of emergency and fragility, where time is of the essence to save lives and livelihoods.”

“We are facing an unprecedented crisis. As millions of people lose their jobs, it is estimated that the pandemic will cause the first ever increase in global poverty since 1998,” United Nations Development Program Administrator Achim Steiner said. “The health, economic and social impact of COVID-19 can only be addressed by fast, efficient response and targeted funding – all of which require specific technical expertise that European Investment Bank and United Nations Development Program can offer jointly to our partners.”