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15 Apr 2020

Belarus seeks €140m loans from WB, EIB to fight COVID-19

Belarus seeks €140m loans from WB, EIB to fight COVID-19

MINSK, 15 April (BelTA) – Belarus seeks to raise a €90-million loan from the World Bank (WB) and a €50-million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to fight COVID-19, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Finance Ministry.

“We have negotiated with the World Bank that it will grant us a €90-million loan. These funds will be spent on purchasing medicines, medical products, and equipment for healthcare facilities, including respirators, face masks, protective clothing, goggles, test kits, ultrasound machines, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, mobile intensive care units, and so on,” the press service noted.

In view of the shortage of some goods and equipment in the global market of medical products, the project provides for a possibility to use platforms of agencies of the UN system to purchase the necessary products.

All technical consultations on this project have already been completed. Necessary interstate procedures are currently underway in Belarus to sign the corresponding agreement. The Finance Ministry hopes to complete them in the near future.

Consultations have been held with the European Investment Bank on a loan of €50 million for the needs of the country’s healthcare. The ministry has sent the loan application and a list of goods to be purchased. “We are waiting for the decision of the European Investment Bank,” the ministry said.

Plans are also in place to attract macro-financial assistance from the EU. The appropriate application has been sent to the European Commission.

Belarus has invited the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) to develop a package of financial instruments to help countries both with epidemiological measures and mitigation of economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We hope that by the end of April such a package of financial support will be submitted to the EFSD board,” the  Finance Ministry noted.

Some state-run banks are also negotiating terms of concessional financing to support small and medium-sized business with some international financial organizations.

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