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BiH and Serbia Benefit from CEB’s €1.3 Billion Loan Package

Serbia and Bosnia Hercegovina are set to receive significant financial support from the Council of Europe Development Bank, enhancing social sector investments in these countries

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has confirmed a financial injection for Serbia and Bosnia Hercegovina as part of a wider €1.3 billion loan distribution aimed at enhancing social sector projects in these nations. This funding initiative was detailed in an announcement from Strasbourg.

In Serbia, the CEB is providing a €6 million loan to 3Bank, a Novi Sad-based entity, to facilitate support for rural businesses and farmers, particularly aiming to fill the microfinance void in less accessible regions. This move is expected to significantly improve the financial and advisory services available to segments typically overlooked or excluded by mainstream financial institutions.

For Bosnia Hercegovina, while specific loan details were not disclosed, the funds are anticipated to similarly focus on critical areas such as microfinance, healthcare, and educational advancements. Both countries are poised to witness significant improvements in their social sectors, leveraging these loans to foster sustainable development and address long-standing economic and social issues.

Governor Carlo Monticelli emphasized that these loans are part of broader efforts to catalyze investments in microfinance, healthcare, education, and post-disaster reconstruction across the CEB’s member states, with Ukraine also receiving aid for its displaced population.

Additional nations benefiting from the CEB’s financial package include Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey. Monticelli stated, “The loans approved today are set to finance a range of investments in the social sector, encompassing areas from microfinance to health care and educational infrastructures, as well as disaster recovery operations.”

The case of Serbia highlights a strategic focus on microfinance, with the CEB loan assisting 3Bank in supporting small farmers, micro-entrepreneurs, and other marginalized groups, thus facilitating economic growth, job creation, and inclusive development. This initiative is crucial for combating the challenges of emigration and brain drain caused by limited self-employment opportunities and lower standards of living.

The CEB’s investment strategy underlines a commitment to reinforcing the social fabric of its member countries, prioritizing education, healthcare, and affordable housing to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Governments, local and regional authorities, public and private banks, and non-profit organizations are identified as potential loan recipients in this comprehensive approach to fostering societal resilience and prosperity.

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