The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s financing institution, will contribute 250 million euro to the international community’s reconstruction efforts following the earthquakes east of Algiers May 21, 27 and 28, 2003.
This measure was announced during the visit of EIB Vice President Philippe de Fontaine Vive to Algiers on June 12, 2003. He declared, “my presence in Algiers is a sign of EU solidarity towards the victims of the most violent earthquake in Algeria for 20 years.”
“The EIB has already advanced 45 million euro for financing the reconstruction of infrastructure in Algiers damaged by the severe flooding of November 2001. As the Union’s financing arm, the EIB is committed not only to providing aid for rapid alleviation of the suffering of tens of thousands of victims, but also to ensuring that it is used effectively.”
“It is for this reason that I have come to Algiers to discuss with the most senior Algerian authorities the deployment of this aid, which will focus primarily on rebuilding social infrastructure and economic activity in the afflicted areas. Moreover, I am pleased to announce that this European solidarity also involves the European Commission and several of our Member States, including France and Italy”.
The EIB funds will be earmarked first and foremost for the reconstruction of urban infrastructure—water supply and treatment, electricity, gas, public transport—as well as the rehabilitation of social amenities—hospitals, community clinics, schools, public buildings—in the towns of Boumerdטs, Reghaia Zemmouri, Roubia and certain districts of Algiers.
The bank’s loans will also underpin investment to prevent lasting disruption of economic activity in the damaged areas through the rebuilding of universities, research centers and businesses, especially SMEs located in the earthquake-stricken zones.
The Bank’s very long-term loans (up to 30 years) will be complemented by Commission-financed and EIB-managed technical assistance funds aimed at assessing the degree of risk and ensuring the application of the relevant seismic standards to the repair works financed under this operation.
This EIB operation is to be carried out under the Bank’s new Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), established following the Barcelona European Council in March 2002.
Launched in October 2002 and endowed with eight to 10 billion euro up to 2006, FEMIP’s goal is to help the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC) meet the challenges of economic and social modernization and enhance regional integration in the run-up to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free-trade area (planned for 2010).
Between October 2002 and May 2003, new operations worth over 1.5 billion euro were approved under FEMIP, 35 percent of which targeting private-sector development. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )