The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided financing of €5 billion ($5.7 billion) in Africa last year to facilitate access to green energy and clean water, as well as private sector growth and COVID-19 resilience, the lender announced on Friday.

The figure is the largest annual EIB engagement in the continent and the largest support for climate action and investment in fragile states, according to a statement from the bank.

“Financing and technical support provided by the EIB in Africa in 2020 is backing more than €12 billion ($14.5 billion) of new investment to improve agriculture, access to off-grid renewable energy and accelerating rural electrification, affordable housing, communications, climate resilience and climate insurance for small holders, healthcare and private sector access to finance,” it noted.

The figure represented a rise of 50% compared to the previous year to strengthen investments in public health, ensure access to safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines and increase economic resilience amid pandemic.

The EIB backed 58 projects in 28 African countries last year. It is the long-term lending institution of the EU owned by its member states.

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