November 19 (SeeNews) - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved a 200 million euro ($228.5 million) loan to the Serbian government to support investments in health infrastructure, the lender said on Monday.
The loan provided by the CEB will be used to a large extent for the refurbishment of some 20 general hospitals throughout the country and for the acquisition of modern equipment, energy efficiency and measures to improve access for persons with disabilities, the bank said in a statement.
"The financing of public infrastructure, particularly in the health sector, is one of the CEB’s top priorities, not least because access to appropriate healthcare is an essential part of social development. The CEB remains firmly committed to providing support and expertise to its member countries for social investments of this kind," the governor of CEB, Rolf Wenzel, said.
The investments will significantly improve conditions for patients and medical staff, increase the efficiency of the services provided thanks to the use of modern equipment, and enhance the energy efficiency and functionality of the buildings concerned. It is estimated that close to 20% of the population of Serbia will benefit from the project, or around 1.3 million persons, the bank noted.
The CEB’s lending portfolio in Serbia is in the range of 450 million euro, focusing mainly on social infrastructure in the areas of housing, education and penitentiary centres, as well as support for micro, small and medium-sized businesses through local partner banks.
($ = 0.8754 euro)