Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved on July 24 an agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the government for Bulgaria to contribute 200 000 euro to the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative for humanitarian aid aimed at reducing migratory flows to Europe.
According to the EIB, the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) was requested by the 28 EU member states in 2016 as part of the EU’s joint response to the challenges posed by forced displacement and migration resulting from the war in Syria.
“ERI’s ambition is to support public and private investment with high social and economic returns to help tackle the numerous challenges in the Southern Neighborhood and the Western Balkans. ERI focuses on long-term, sustainable solutions that are crucial to sustainable development in countries that are prone to shocks. Donor contributions are key to achieving ERI objectives.”
Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom have promised to join the initiative aimed at boosting economic sustainability in the countries of origin of migrants.
The initiative will support the Western Balkans as well as Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian administration territory and Syria by providing investment in critical infrastructure and promoting improved public service and social protection.
The EIB seeks to increase its funding by six billion euro over a five-year period (these will be added to the 7.5 billion euro already earmarked) and to encourage further investment of up to 15 billion euro.
A Bulgarian government statement said that the inclusion of Bulgaria in the initiative represents a solidarity contribution to tackling the most serious challenges related to development, humanitarian and migration processes arising in the neighbourhood of the European Union.
The funds will be provided from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ budget, dedicated to official development aid and humanitarian aid, the government statement said./ibna