The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €10 million sovereign loan to Georgia to be on-lent to Municipal Development Fund (MDF) to improve solid waste management throughout 64 municipalities including remote areas of the country.
The funds will be used to purchase approximately 140 new solid waste collection vehicles and approximately 7000 containers, according to EBRD.
The EBRD loan is supported by an investment grant of €2 million provided by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF) in recognition of the substantial environmental and social improvements within the frames of the project. Preparatory technical assistance for the investment has also been provided by the SSF while a post-signing stakeholder participation programme and assistance to develop and implement municipal waste management plans and environmental and social action plans will be financed by an international donor.
This project is a significant step forward in the implementation of the Georgian government’s plans to modernise and upgrade the country’s waste management system to European Union (EU) standards, as well as working to improve the environment. This investment will upgrade the waste services in the country and produce significant environmental and public health benefits.
The loan agreement was signed today by Nodar Khaduri, the Minister of Finance of Georgia, and Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus.
“I am very happy to sign this agreement which marks another important successful cooperation in the municipal infrastructure sector in Georgia,” said Mr Balvanera. “The project confirms the EBRD’s commitment to supporting government plans for the modernisation and upgrading of Georgia’s waste management system to European standards. This will bring substantial benefits to the residents of Georgia and the country’s environment. Creating better public awareness of the benefits of sustainable solid waste services is an integral part of the project and we will continue working on a better and healthier environment.”
Georgia has committed to improve solid waste management throughout the country in line with the EU Association Agreement. There are already EU-compliant regional landfills in Georgia and the new equipment will ensure that solid waste is disposed at these landfills.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested over €2.73 billion in 195 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 91 per cent of these investments in the private sector.
The EBRD’s strategic plan for the countries where it invests, including Georgia, for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.