PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) today signed a €200 million loan to boost economic growth and support efforts recovery and reconstruction after the earthquake in Croatia.
In 2020, the Croatian economy contracted sharply due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, two powerful earthquakes hit the country in March and December 2020, causing large-scale damage and hampering the population’s access to public services, including healthcare and education.
“We are very happy to continue our long-standing cooperation with HBOR and to support a sustainable recovery in Croatia after a very difficult period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and two destructive earthquakes”, said CEB Governor , Carlo Monticelli. “Our latest loan will invest in vital social infrastructure across the country and promote regional development.”
The CEB loan will be channeled through HBOR directly to eligible end-borrowers to part-finance the development and upgrading of local and regional infrastructure, such as water supply, sewage and treatment networks. sewage, local roads, educational, cultural and other municipal facilities.
The loan will enable HBOR to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), create new jobs and preserve existing jobs, and finance the reconstruction and modernization of infrastructure and buildings damaged by the earthquakes.
Thanks to its flexibility in terms of allocation, regional distribution and the possibility of merging with other sources of financing, the loan will enable HBOR to promote competitiveness and improve access to financing for small businesses and local communities.
“Through funding from CEB, which has been our trusted partner for over 20 years, HBOR has supported 1,500 small and medium enterprise projects and nearly 200 public sector infrastructure projects,” said Tamara Perko, President of the HBOR Board of Directors. “We will use these loan funds for funding under our current lending programs, but also for projects that will be funded under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).”
Eligible end-borrowers include start-ups, MSMEs, public and private entities playing a role in economic and infrastructure development in Croatia, local government units and institutions, and utility companies. The loan will be implemented throughout the country, thus benefiting a large number of final beneficiaries.
This is the ninth CEB loan to HBOR. It follows a €200 million loan approved in 2019 and another €100 million from 2017, both of which supported investments by local authorities and MSMEs.
A member of the CEB since 1997, Croatia has so far received more than €1 billion in financing from the Bank to support key investments in health, urban and rural infrastructure, flood prevention measures and micro, small and medium enterprises. (MSME). Croatia also benefits from and is a partner in the program managed by the CEB Regional housing program. More details are available here.