The public policy loans in support of green recovery as well as the support program for the modernization of the railway sector were signed today at the premises of the government of the Republic of Serbia.
Public policy loans in support of green recovery and rail modernization were signed in Serbia today. The credit facility agreements were signed by Serbia’s Finance Minister Sinisa Mali, French Ambassador to Serbia, Jean-Louis Falconi, the Regional Director for Eurasia of Agence Française de Développement, Cécile Couprie, as well as the World Bank’s Director for the Western Balkan, Linda Van Gelder. Prime Minister Ana Brnabić also joined the ceremony.
The first loans – of €82.6 million co-financed by the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and €50 million from AFD – are based on two pillars: improving the efficiency and transparency of the public sector and initiating green growth.
The second set of loans of a total of €102 million – €51 million provided each, by the World Bank and AFD – will fund railway transportation.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabić stressed the importance of these loans, which will address priority areas for Serbia in the coming years.
“We will succeed in improving Serbia’s resilience to future climate change risks and urgently address the challenges of air pollution. In addition, further improvement of the work of the public sector and its transparency will be made possible, and funds will be provided for the improvement of the railway sector in Serbia. Therefore, green recovery, further improvement of the work of the public sector and its transparency, as well as the renewal of the railway infrastructure are the three key elements of these loans,” said the Prime Minister.
She recalled that by signing the Sofia Declaration on the “Green Agenda” for the Western Balkans, Serbia committed to implement measures in the field of climate change and pollution prevention, energy and biodiversity development, mobility and circular economy, sustainable agriculture and food production.
“It is up to us to work on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, developing market models for the use of renewable energy sources, as well as reducing the use of coal. With this year’s budget rebalancing, we have increased the allocations for ecology compared to the original budget from 16 billion dinars to 24 billion dinars. The increase in the budget is proof that we are serious about this intention,” said the Prime Minister and added that Serbia must follow Europe and its agendas related to climate change.
“The World Bank Group is supporting Serbia in its commitment to transition to a green economy, more efficiently utilize energy resources and build resilience to climate shocks, while supporting growth, employment and eliminating poverty,” said Linda Van Gelder, World Bank’s Regional Director for the Western Balkans. The two loans in partnership with the French Development Agency are designed to assist the Government in its endeavor to enhance sustainability of the Serbian economy and regional connectivity, both of which are critical to Serbia’s path to greater prosperity and to accession to the European Union.
H.E. Jean-Louis Falconi, Ambassador of France to the Republic of Serbia, said, “These two first financings of AFD in Serbia are part of France’s broader approach to supporting Serbia’s ambitions and commitments in terms of climate change, environmental protection and green infrastructure development, in line with Serbia’s European perspective. These projects reflect and contribute to the reinforcement of bilateral relations between our two countries, supported by the highest authorities of the State.”
Cécile Couprie, AFD’s Regional Director for Eurasia, is delighted with “the signing of these two important programs, which are the result of a fruitful strategic and operational dialogue established with the Serbian authorities to support climate action policy reforms and the development of key green infrastructures, in tandem with the World Bank. This initiative demonstrates AFD’s ability to provide concrete and suitable support to Serbia for accelerating its EU integration agenda, and fostering a sustainable development pathway compatible with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change. We will continue to invest vigorously in the coming months and years on these key issues in Serbia and in the region, through all the financing and technical tools offered by AFD Group”.