EIB-Led Group to Finance Ethiopia’s Water Infrastructure

The European Investment Bank, France and Italy will provide Ethiopia 81.4 million euros ($90 million) in financing to help the East African nation modernize its water infrastructure.

The EIB will loan 40 million euros, the French Agency for Development will provide 20 million euros and Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will loan 15 million euros, the Luxembourg-based lender said Wednesday in a statement. They’ll provide 6.4 million euros more in grants.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy will use the money for new water, wastewater and sanitation infrastructure as well as to update existing services in small and medium-sized towns across one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies. The EIB said the measures, including technical assistance, will benefit about 120,000 households.

“The program that we’ve agreed to jointly finance today is expected to lead to improvements in health conditions and thus the quality of life of many Ethiopians,” EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom said in the statement.

The EIB has provided more than 500 million euros the past five years to finance water-infrastructure improvements in Africa, including Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Lesotho and Zambia.