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EIB invests €11 million to improve wastewater infrastructure in Kosovo

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will invest €11 million to improve wastewater management in the municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane in Kosovo.  This is the first EIB investment in wastewater and environmental protection in Kosovo and will provide affordable access to water and wastewater services for more than 90 000 people.

Investment from the EU bank will enable the following:

  • Construction of a wastewater treatment plant and related sewerage network
  • Revitalization of key infrastructure in the environmental protection sector
  • Reduction in the pollution of local water, including the risk of trans-border water contamination

New sanitary infrastructure will also improve the quality and efficiency of public health and increase municipal resilience to natural disasters such as COVID-19.

The investment comes under the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative, which aims to improve fundamental infrastructure in the Western Balkans and cultivate social and economic progress in the region. A key part of the EU and EIB strategy for the Western Balkans is the support of essential environmental infrastructure.

Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President said:

“We are glad to support this project that will improve living standards for thousands of people in Gjilan/Gnjilane by providing a modern and affordable wastewater management system. On a larger-scale, it will contribute to socio-economic progress and regional connections, and improve preparedness for pandemic and emergency situations. Finally, we hope this financing will bring Kosovo closer to EU environmental requirements and support the transition of the Western Balkan countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Besnik Beslimi, Minister of Finance and Transfer in the Republic of Kosovo, added:

“The Kosovo Government intends to finance in the medium term the transformation of the wastewater sector in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens and protect the environment for the future generations. We are keen on financing the wastewater projects with European Investment Bank as a partner that has a long track record and reputation for financing water projects. The Gjilan/Gnjilane project signed today and the project of Mitrovica that is going to be signed later this year are in accordance with our Water Strategy.”

Head of the EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative, Nataliya Apostolova ,commented:

“Kosovo’s lack of facilities for treating sewage, urbanization and development often result in contaminated rivers and groundwater due to discharge of sewage without treatment and disposal of solid waste into them.”

An amount of €10 million is co-financed for the project by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In addition, the project will benefit from a €3.1 million EU grant from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) to support project preparation and implementation.

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