The European Investment Bank, the bank of the European Union, has made a disbursement of EUR 50 million to the Government of Georgia for the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19 through the COVAX facility, as well as other medical equipment essential for the successful treatment of COVID-19 patients. This is the second largest single disbursement for the EIB in Georgia to date, and a part of the EUR 100 million COVID-19 support package for the Georgian healthcare system provided by the EIB.
In 2020 alone, the EIB Group provided EUR 210 million in loans and guarantees to support resilience of Georgia’s healthcare system, and speed up recovery of the national economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. This support package from the EU Bank includes EUR 100 million invested to reinforce the resilience of Georgian healthcare sector, and EUR 110 million provided to the Georgian financial institutions for intermediated lending to local micro and small and medium (SME) enterprises in the country.
The support for the faster recovery of Georgian economy includes additional EUR 250 million extended as guarantees by the European Investment Fund, a part of the EIB Group. These guarantees originate from the InnovFin, a joint EIB – European Commission initiative to support innovative SMEs in the EU and partner countries.
Teresa Czerwinska, Vice President of the EIB, who is in charge of operations in Georgia said: “Vaccines and COVID-19 related medical equipment are today crucial for protecting lives and ending the pandemic as quickly as possible. The EIB is very proud to be able to support Georgia make these key anti-pandemic measures. I am glad to see EIB constantly making significant contributions towards strengthening EU-Georgian partnership, allowing the country to grow and develop. This growing and developing Georgia is a goal shared by the Government and Team Europe, and I look forward to further contributions from the EIB in months and years to come”.
Ekaterine Tikaradze, Minister of Ooccupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, who is responsible for the country’s COVID-19 response said: “We are very pleased to benefit from the disbursement of EUR 50m from the EIB for the health sector especially during this difficult context. This reaffirms the national commitment to prioritize healthcare sector, to build sustained resilience towards COVID-19 pandemic and to be actively ready for other emerging threats to public health. This disbursement will enable us to combat the pandemic through the purchase of vaccines, the upgrade of essential health infrastructure and the procurement of modern medical equipment to help front-line staffs and hospital institutions. In addition, on behalf of the Ministry, we would like to express our deep and sincere gratitude to the European Investment Bank, it’s leadership and involved employees for their unprecedented support to Georgia during the preparation phase, for the aim to combat the severe crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, with devastating health, economic and social effects”.
Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia said: “The EU continues to stand by Georgia through the pandemic. This disbursement by EIB, the EU bank, adds further support to the health sector and is part of the support package of above 500 million EUR from the EU and Team Europe to assist Georgia and Georgian citizens to cope and recover from COVID-19.