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EU, WBIF extend €2.5 million grant to wastewater project in Kosovo

By Bojana Vlajcic

  • EU, WBIF grant to finance construction of wastewater treatment plant in Gjilan
  • Investment is being co-financed by the EBRD and EIB
  • EBRD investing to improve water and river quality in Kosovo

The Gjilan wastewater development project in Kosovo, co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB), has received additional financial support from bilateral donors to the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

An agreement on the €2.5 million grant was signed today in Pristina by Sergiy Maslichenko, EBRD Head of Kosovo, and Hekuran Murati, Kosovan Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers. The signing ceremony was attended by Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Office in Kosovo, and representatives of the regional water company, Hidromorava.   

The funds will go towards the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and the rehabilitation and extension of the existing wastewater and sewerage network in the municipality of Gjilan. The EBRD extended a €10 million loan for the project in 2019. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is extending another €10 million loan.

Once constructed, the new treatment plant will significantly reduce pollution resulting from wastewater flowing into nearby rivers and provide Gjilan residents with access to cleaner water. It will also help to improve environmental conditions and public health, while mitigating the effects of climate change in the water and wastewater sector in Kosovo.

The water quality of Kosovan rivers has deteriorated in recent decades due to a lack of proper wastewater and solid-waste treatment. The EBRD is helping Kosovo to address these challenges and invest in modern environmental infrastructure. This will be the second wastewater treatment plant that the EBRD and the EU have supported in the country; the other is being constructed in South Mitrovica, Vushtrri and the surrounding areas.  

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) supports socio-economic development and EU accession across the Western Balkans by providing finance and technical assistance for strategic investments. It is a joint initiative of the European Union, financial institutions, bilateral donors and the governments of the Western Balkans.

The EBRD has invested €601 million in Kosovo since it began operating there in 2012. The Bank’s strategic priorities in Kosovo are to promote the green economy, support the competitive development of the private sector and foster regional integration.

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