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    EIB activity in the region 

    Overview

    Whether it is a new metro line in Cairo, a state-of-the-art university in Morocco or solar panels on school rooftops in Palestine, EIB Global, the development arm of the European Investment Bank, is working with Southern Neighbourhood countries to improve the lives of millions of people in the region.

    Since our first operation in 1978, we support the region through lending and technical assistance in the public and private sectors, from economic infrastructure to boosting local business and creating jobs for young women and men.

    We work closely with EU institutions and development partners to mobilise more finance and enhance the impact of our projects.

    We are one of the top lenders in the region supporting projects that accelerate the green transition, in line with our Climate Bank Roadmap.

    Our priorities in the region are: 

    Private Sector development

    We help the local private sector grow and create jobs. We improve access to finance for local micro, small and medium enterprises through selected financial intermediaries. We also provide loans to EU-based (or global) companies investing in the region, as well as local companies with high-growth potential and/or adding value to the local economy, including commercially-managed public sector companies.

    Microfinance

    We enhance access to finance for micro-businesses and microfinance institutions in the region. It helps micro-entrepreneurs, who often belong to vulnerable segments of the population, create and maintain their business.

    Infrastructure

    Solid socio-economic infrastructure is essential for businesses growth, therefore we support safer, more efficient, and low-emission public transport and the development of information and communications technology.

    We also enhance access to more efficient energy services, while promoting the transition towards renewable sources.

    We also finance the construction and renovation of schools and research facilities to support education, innovation and skills. Furthermore, we support irrigation, clean water and sanitation, solid waste disposal and pollution control projects.

    Climate Action

    Droughts, heatwaves and water scarcity are key concerns in the Southern Neighbourhood. Therefore, in line with our Climate Bank Roadmap, 20% of our financing in the region support climate action and environmental  projects.

    Healthcare

    We enhance the deployment of healthcare infrastructure, equipment and other required materials. To face COVID-19 pandemic, we also supported COVAX.

    Our support for public and private sector projects in the region

    Responding to the changing environment in the Southern Neighbourhood, we continue to diversify our range of financial products and advisory services to support projects enhancing growth and development in the region.

    • Intermediated loans for micro, small and medium-enterprises

    To encourage the development of the private sector, we make credit lines available to local banks or development financing institutions, so that they increase the volume of lending to local businesses.

    • Direct loans (generally over €25 million) for private and public sector project promoters

    To support mid or large companies that benefit the local economic and social infrastructure.

    Private equity plays a key role in supporting economic growth. We therefore have helped to establish local investment funds and supported existing ones since the late 1990s. As a minor investor, our role is to attract other private capitals into our projects and thus to produce a financing multiplier effect, ultimately making further sources of funding available for our local counterparts.

    We primarily invest or co-invest along with equity funds focusing on infrastructure or environmental projects, or provide equity or quasi-equity funding to small and medium-enterprises and Mid-Caps. Our private equity investments are always in line with our environmental and social standards.

    We provide guarantees to micro, small and medium enterprises, mid and large corporates, banks and public sector promoters, to stimulate local capital markets, mobilise additional financial resource, reduce foreign exchange risk and government risk exposure. For details, see:

    We provide advisory services and technical assistance supporting low-carbon infrastructure projects in urban areas and maximising their development impact. We also finance studies and activities to build the capacity of local banks and firms.

    EIB stories and videos in the region

    We support projects that improve lives all over the world.
    Watch our videos and read our stories on how our work improves the quality of life in the Southern Neighbourhood.

    Our partnerships for global development

    We work closely with EU institutions and development partners to mobilise more development and climate finance, and to enhance our impact. By working together, we can create a greener, more connected and more prosperous future for the Southern Neighbourhood.

    Working with the European Union

    As a member of Team Europe, our specialised development arm, EIB Global, provides financing for impact through targeted partnerships.

    We work closely with the European Commission in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and with the European External Action Service to address key geo-political challenges in the region.

    Our operations beyond the EU are backed by the NDICI - Global Europe, the EU’s main financing tool to contribute to eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development, prosperity, peace and stability. We also implement the Global Gateway strategy, including the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package

    Working with the United Nations, international organisations and financing institutions

    We maintain strategic partnerships with key players in the region, sharing our expertise on global issues and joining efforts to achieve maximum development impact.

    Together with the United Nations we jointly address global challenges and share knowledge with each other in areas such as Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and crisis response and migration.

    Among others, to tackle challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood, we also work with:

    Partnering with national representatives and development agencies

    Along with the French Development Agency (AFD), the EU and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), we have launched the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI)  financing projects that contribute towards sustainability.

    Under the Mutual Reliance Initiative, we cooperate in the region with the French Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the German Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), we have co-invested with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and set-up a programme with the Luxembourgish government to develop microfinance activities in Tunisia.

    Participation in coordination platforms

    In the context of the 25th Anniversary of the Barcelona Process and in line with the EU new agenda outlined in the “Joint Communication on the renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood”, we have recently renewed our long-standing cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

    We took the lead in three programmes of the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), play a key role in the CEDRE process, and in the Growth and Opportunity Conference.

    Contact us

    Local authority or
    large corporate

    Contact us directly at our

    Small businesses

    For small projects (generally less than € 25m)

    Contact our local partners

    General enquiries

    Contact the Information Desk for enquiries regarding the financing facilities, activity, organisation and objectives of the EIB.

    Contact us
    Tel.  +352 4379-22000
    Frequently asked questions