European Investment Bank ‘ready to do more’ for refugees
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyThe European Investment Bank (EIB) has said it is ready to do more to address the refugee crisis that has engulfed the Middle East, Turkey and the Western Balkans.
“We hope that we would be able to expand our activities, which presently stand at a 17 billion-euro [$19 billion] plan for the next five years,” EIB President Werner Hoyer told Anadolu Agency during the ongoing World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
The summit comes as the Syrian civil war enters its sixth year, prompting the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Hoyer said the EIB currently had a total signed exposure in the Middle East and North Africa, Turkey and the Western Balkans at around 40 billion euros ($44.8 billion).
In Jordan, the EU bank financed a water system project blending loans with EU grants, to address water scarcity and improve people’s lives. In Turkey, it approved the financing of a new hospital in the southeastern Gaziantep province, close to the country’s border with Syria.
“We are the biggest international financial institution working here,” Hoyer stressed.
“We will go to the European Council in June with a proposal from our bank, in which we will outline what we could do to expand financing resources if necessary conditions are met,” he added.
Commenting on the summit in Istanbul, Hoyer said it was “very good sign” that U.N. agencies and multilateral development banks were working together for long-term goals.
“That’s the message from Istanbul: We are on the right track,” he stressed.