Sofia Municipality and EIB signed a 50 million Euro investment loan agreement for pedestrian infrastructure
"These investments will enable us to increase the refurbishment of pavements in all districts of the city more than 10-fold," said Mayor Fandakova.
EIB's investment loan comes to a total of 50 million Euro and is envisaged for the construction of pedestrian infrastructure, for more convenient and accessible pavements in all districts of the capital city. These are additional funds earmarked for the pedestrian infrastructure in Sofia. The loan agreement was signed by European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President, Lilyana Pavlova, and Sofia Mayor, Yordanka Fandakova, in the presence of Sofia Municipal Council Chairman, Georgi Georgiev, Deputy Mayors, Doncho Barbalov responsible for Finance and Healthcare and Eng. Angel Dzhogov, responsible for construction.
This loan is complementary to the financing approved and granted by the EIB in 2021. The additional loan, signed today, is intended for Sofia's multiannual investment programme. It includes investments in the districts of the city, including the construction and refurbishment of municipal roads, tram lines, cycle and pedestrian lanes, as well as other urban infrastructure within the scope of the current Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) of the Bulgarian capital.
In particular, this loan will enable Sofia Municipality to improve the urban environment, increase the number of pedestrian infrastructure projects, including for people with reduced mobility, and contribute to improving air cleanliness.
The loan will require no specific security, fees or commissions. The beneficial financial conditions are also due to the stable long-term credit rating of Sofia - "BBB with a stable forecast" - equal to Bulgaria's rating.
The rating has been confirmed by the international rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P Global Ratings) and is based on stable economic indicators which are better than the national average, good liquidity, diversified local economy and low unemployment. One of the reasons why S&P confirmed the forecast for the development of the city is the financial discipline observed by the mayor of Sofia.
“We created a special programme for the construction and renovation of pavements, aimed at their refurbishment in all regions/districts of Sofia. These investments will enable us to increase the refurbishment of the pavements in the city more than 10 fold. The aim is to make moving around the city more convenient, comfortable, safe and by doing – a preferred means of movement over shorter distances for the citizens. Promoting pedestrian traffic is also important for improving air quality " – said the Mayor of Sofia, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova.
"Sofia Municipality is the recipient only of investment loans and the EIB is our only partner," Mayor Fandakova said. "Thanks to the support of the bank, important projects have been implemented such as the waste plant, urban transport, and metro. These are projects which have changed and continue to change the environment.
Up to 30% of the funds will be provided directly to the regional administrations. The role of district mayors in the implementation of projects is very important, as well as in the preparation of the Programme. "
EIB Vice President Lilyana Pavlova said: "The EIB is a long-term partner of Sofia Municipality and finances investments in priority public infrastructure. The Bank supports a variety of projects such as the construction of the metro, refurbishment of the urban road network, renovation of the urban transport fleet, integrated waste treatment installations and other urban and social infrastructure, including through consultancy services in the course of their preparation and implementation. As an EU climate bank, we have always shown support with a clear vision for the green and sustainable future we all dream of. "
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by its Member States. The Bank provides long-term financing for justified investments in order to contribute to the achievement of the EU's policy objectives.
The EIB has been working closely with Bulgaria since 1992 and has supported the country's economy with funds of nearly 5.7 billion Euros.
Photographer: Adelina Angelova