Effective solutions for Africa's most pressing challenges
Our investments contribute to the building of the infrastructure that helps mitigate climate change and allows Africans to adapt to its unavoidable impact on their lives. For example, solar-powered mobile phone towers like the ones financed in Guinea with our $30 million loan extend the network, but they also cut out diesel power.
Climate change and conflicts are key drivers of forced displacement. Of the 33.4 million new displacements in 2019, 23.9 million were weather-related and 8.5 million were due to conflict and violence. Forecasts estimate that by 2050, climate change could forcibly displace up to 200 million people, in addition to the anticipated 150 million internal rural-to-urban climate migrants by the same date.
In 2016, we launched our flagship Economic Resilience Initiative for the Western Balkans and Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood (North Africa and the Middle East). Under this initiative, 60 projects have been approved for €5.83 billion in financing.
Key impacts of our Resilience Initiative include:
- lending to 11 363 smaller businesses and mid-caps, helping sustain 218 200 jobs
- creation of 8 806 new permanent jobs, with 223 270 jobs in the construction phase
- safer water for 4.5 million people and improved sanitation for a further 6.5 million
- better urban and rail transport for 420 000 passengers daily
- 6 600 new student places in higher education.
We stepped up our activities to enhance economic opportunity and access to social services in sub-Saharan Africa, too. The €800 million ACP Migration Package, launched in 2016, offers finance to the public and private sectors with a focus on resilience.
We joined the COVAX initiative, investing €600 million in the innovative financing instrument that enables poorer countries to access donor-funded doses of COVID-19 vaccines. We invested in conjunction with the European Commission’s €100 million grant.
We tailored our COVID-19 response to the needs of individual African countries. Within a few weeks of the start of the lockdown, we signed a €200 million loan to Morocco (which may increase to €280 million) to pay for medical devices, supplies and equipment. The flexible loan allows Morocco to use the funds for any COVID-19-related health purchases. The money reached Morocco in record time, with €100 million disbursed within a month.