The project is expected to help to reduce the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bulgaria
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to provide up to €5.8m ($6.3m) to Smolyan Water Supply and Sanitation Company to improve water services in Smolyan, Bulgaria.
The funding includes €3.1m ($3.3) from the EBRD and €2.7m ($2.9m) from the EU’s European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The EU will further co-finance the investment with €34.8m ($38.1m) in grants.
The bank said that the project will help to reduce the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bulgaria.
EBRD said: “Support for infrastructure providers is a central pillar of the EBRD’s response to the crisis. The Bank now expects to dedicate the entirety of its activities in the period 2020-21 to overcoming the economic impact of the pandemic and is ready to invest up to €21 billion.”
The investment is EBRD’s second project under the ESIF Bulgarian Water Sector Framework
Through the investment, approximately 100,000 people in the Smolyan region in southern Bulgaria are expected to benefit from the better access to improved water and wastewater services as per European standards.
As part of the project, the Vital Infrastructure Support Programme is expected to support the key infrastructure providers that include state-owned enterprises, municipalities and private utility operators.
They are expected to benefit through short-term and long-term financial products to overcome the current shock and focus on their key function.
EBRD said that the investment in the region represents its second project under the ESIF Bulgarian Water Sector Framework, which was established to co-finance strategic infrastructure investments.