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EBRD mobilised record levels of donor funds in 2016

By Lucia Sconosciuto

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EBRD mobilised record levels of donor funds in 2016

Grant contributions worth €445 million will boost investments, policy dialogue and technical assistance across the EBRD region

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2016 attracted a record level of donor funds amounting to €445 million, a more than 40 per cent increase on the previous year. Donor grants are used to co-finance EBRD operations and related activities, such as policy reform and technical cooperation projects, aimed at enhancing the private sector’s sustainable growth in countries ranging from Morocco to Mongolia.

The European Union is the EBRD’s largest single donor, contributing around 50 per cent of donor funding received over the last five years in support of Bank activities, confirming its commitment as a crucial partner to the EBRD. Individual governments and donor agencies – including EBRD countries of operations such as Kazakhstan and Albania, as well as global funds such as the Climate Investment Funds, the Global Environment Facility and other World Bank managed financing facilities – also contributed significant grant support.

From Morocco to Mongolia, from Egypt to Estonia – our EBRD donors provide funds that support common activities and act as a catalyst for investments.

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The EBRD and its donors share the commitments expressed in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate action. Working together, donors and the EBRD play a decisive role in promoting well-functioning market economies, transparency, fair competition, modernisation, inclusion and the sustainable use of resources. On average, around one-third of EBRD operations are supported by donor funds, with an emphasis on less-advanced regions.

Donor grants finance both investments and technical cooperation. This support has allowed the Bank to confidently take ambitious steps such as initiating the Green Economy Transition approach, the implementation of the first Gender Strategy, the involvement in the international refugee crisis response and the launch of the Green Cities Framework.

The ultimate beneficiaries of EBRD donors’ generosity are the millions of citizens who are enjoying better and greener municipal services, business owners and managers who have more access to finance and advice, industries and infrastructure that are enabled to use clean technology, and regulators that are better equipped to push reforms for an improved business climate.

“In light of these past years of uninterrupted austerity in public budgets, donors’ contributions confirm the effectiveness of the Bank’s business model which blends grants with loans alongside policy dialogue, avoiding market distortions and aiming at building up local capacity. Without donors’ support, many projects would simply not materialise and people, businesses and institutions in the region would be worse off in their quest to sustainably develop their economies,” said Camilla Otto, EBRD Director of Donor Co-Financing.

In addition, in 2016 the EBRD secured from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) last October up to US$ 378 million to support green investments – the Fund’s largest approval in 2016. As manager of multi-donor funds supporting activities of international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) Fund, the Western Balkans Investment Framework's donor fund and the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP), the EBRD helped raise the significant sum of €114 million in grant funding for EBRD and other IFI operations.

Donor funding will continue to boost the Bank’s work in all sectors and across the entire region. In particular, these funds will continue to be essential to invest in the green economy, infrastructure, small businesses and other initiatives such as good governance, economic inclusion and gender equality.

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