The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Union (EU) and European Investment Bank (EIB) are investing $30m in water upgrades in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The investment will be used for projects in four cities having a combined population of over 141,000 people.

It will help the cities to take up critical water supply improvements, launch modern metering systems and take the operations and maintenance equipment to the next level.

The investment will also help them for large-scale extension of services in the future, which covers wastewater services available currently to just one-third of their populations.

A loan of up to $1.21m has been sanctioned for the city of Balykchy from the EBRD. An equal amount will be invested by EIB, alongside an investment grant from the EU’s Investment Facility from Central Asia (IFCA) of $3.5m.

The EBRD and EIB will each give loans of $1.6m to the city of Maili-Suu, which will also get a $4.6m investment grant from IFCA.

Toktogul will be helped with loans of $1.21m each from the EBRD and the EIB, alongside the $3.5m investment grant from IFCA.

Uzgen is the fourth city which will benefit from the latest funding. The city has secured loans of up to $2.75m each from the EBRD and EIB while IFCA has sanctioned it a grant $5.5m.

EBRD first vice president Phil Bennett said: “Upgrades of old water systems in Central Asia are where we achieve perhaps the most immediate effect on people’s lives.

“The EBRD’s approach is to work with partners and to provide blended finance – namely, a combination of loans, grants and technical assistance – with the aim of involving private sector finance at some point as well.

“We believe this is an optimal model to achieve development goals not only in the Kyrgyz Republic but in the whole region.”

Image: The new project brings EBRD financing for safer water to 12th Kyrgyz city. Photo: courtesy of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.