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EIB grants loan to Fiji to help protect water infrastructure

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted $75m loan to partially fund Fiji’s new water investment scheme to help protect water infrastructure against extreme weather events in the country.

The loan will be used by the Water Authority of Fiji to fund part of its new $405m investment program, which aims to boost resilience of water distribution and wastewater treatment.

In February 2016, Fiji was hit with Cyclone Winston, which is said to be world’s second strongest storm ever recorded.

The new investment scheme involves construction of new water-treatment plant as well as upgrading existing wastewater treatment facilities. It will also include improving and expanding water networks.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said: "This welcome financing will be used with funding from the Green Climate Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the Fijian Government.

“Financing of projects to build resiliency in developing countries is critical, and I sincerely hope that this project can serve as a model for other developing countries that wish to access blended financing on behalf of their own people.”

EIB said that the scheme is aimed at supporting a number of sustainable development goals including health, economic development and sustainable urban growth.

European Investment Bank vice-president Ambroise Fayolle said: “We pleased to support transformation water investment on the island of Viti Levu that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Fijians and better protect key services from extreme weather.”

The EIB loan will be used to help improve current service levels as well as reduce leakages and enable quicker resumption of water supply following storms.

The Fiji’s new water investment is also backed by financing from the Fiji government, Asian Development Bank and Green Climate Fund.

Image: Fiji secures funding from EIB for water investment program. Photo: courtesy of European Investment Bank 2017.