Press Release

Argentina: Team Europe - EIB invests US$210mn into flood protection and vaccine programmes

Bnamericas Published: Monday, January 31, 2022
Argentina: Team Europe - EIB invests US$210mn into flood protection and vaccine programmes

Press Release from the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing USD 100 million to the Republic of Argentina to support the purchase of vaccines and the deployment of vaccination campaigns in alignment with the National Vaccine Deployment Plan (NVDP). The EU Bank today also agreed its first ever flood protection loan in Argentina. The new financing will support the Integrated Water Resources Management in the Salado River Basin in the province of Buenos Aires.

The new financing will strengthen the country's resilience and pandemic preparedness initiatives, included in the Argentinian national response plan to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine agreement is part of Team Europe’s efforts to make COVID-19 vaccines available globally.

The EIB is also providing its first loan for flood protection in Argentina. The USD 110 million (EUR 96.8 million) loan will support integrated water resource management in the Salado River Basin, in the province of Buenos Aires.

During a meeting at the Casa Rosada, Vice President of the EIB, Ricardo Mourinho Félix, President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Gustavo Béliz, today signed the agreements in the presence of the EU Ambassador to Argentina, Amador Sánchez Rico.

"This signature is very important for us because it concerns our present situation and tackles problems that have been dragging in some cases for many years in Argentina," said the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, who was accompanied by the Secretary of Strategic Affairs, Gustavo Beliz.

The President valued as "very important" the EIB's contribution enabling the province of Buenos Aires to finish the project at the Salado River, since, he said, it will contribute to "ending an enormous challenge for a million producers who have their fields around that river.”

“It is a very important work and one that has a lot to do with production, that is why it will guarantee more development, more possibilities to export grains, more foreign exchange earnings, all the things that Argentina needs for the future”, he affirmed.

In addition, he thanked “the financing to continue buying vaccines for this pandemic that began and refuses to end and that shows us that perhaps what we thought that one dose was enough is no longer enough and we may have to maintain this vaccination for a long time. Therefore, we welcome financial help to be able to continue buying vaccines.”

“International cooperation is essential in tackling the COVID-19 crisis and for ensuring a sustainable global recovery. The European Investment Bank is working with global partners to ensure a targeted response to pandemic and as part of Team Europe has supported COVAX to make one billion doses of vaccines available through our largest ever support program for public health”, stated Vice President of the EIB, Ricardo Mourinho Félix. He added: “The EIB is committed to accelerating climate related investment to improve protection against extreme weather events. Across the Rio Salado basin in Buenos Aires Province 1.4 million people are at risk from flooding and the EIB is pleased to support this new initiative to strengthen flood protection measures via the USD 110 million loan confirmed today.”

Ambassador of the European Union to Argentina, Amador Sánchez Rico added, “The presence here in Argentina of the Vice President of the European Investment Bank to announce new financing for new projects is excellent news. The Europe Team approach, which includes the European institutions, Member States and the EIB, is helping to finance key sectors at a crucial time. We have had fruitful meetings with the Argentine authorities and prepared the ground for future projects with the EIB.”

EIB global response to COVID-19 and Team Europe

The dedicated EIB support for COVID-19 economic resilience in Argentina is part of the EIB’s EUR 64 billion global response to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic. These loans are an example of joint EU efforts under “Team Europe” and highlight our priorities in Latin America: contributing to sustainable and inclusive growth and promoting Climate Action.

Strengthening flood protection across the Rio Salado basin

Buenos Aires is the largest and most populous Argentinian province and this project will improve protection against floods and strengthen the capacity of the institutions responsible for the Integrated Water Resources Management in the Salado River Basin. The flood protection programme will help to reduce the negative impacts of floods and droughts on the basin's economy and develop and preserve the environmental value of the basin - in particular, the wetlands. 

The EIB in Latin America

Since the EIB began operating in Latin America in 1993, it has provided total financing of EUR 11.4 billion to support 150 projects in 15 countries in the region.

The EIB has significant presence in Argentina through the financing of important public investment projects. Argentina is the second largest recipient of EIB financing in Latin America with almost EUR 1 billion of funds.

In recent years, the EIB has financed strategic investments in Argentina such as the rehabilitation of the Buenos Aires Metro, water and sanitation projects, and the integrated waste management programme in Jujuy, the latter complemented by an EU grant via the Latin America Investment Facility.

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