Brussels [Belgium], May 7 (ANI): Ahead of India-EU leadership virtual summit, the European Investment Bank (EIB) on Friday announced Euro 2,50,000 (USD 3,03,539) donation to India in response to the escalating COVID-19 crisis.
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, has announced an emergency donation from the EU Bank's own funds. The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States.
The donation will go to UNICEF Luxembourg, Red Cross International and Malteser International to acquire life-saving equipment in particular to improve access to oxygen including oxygen generation plants as well as the procurement of oxygen cylinders urgently needed across India, according to a statement by the European Investment Bank.
The donation will also help reinforce key emergency services such as ambulances, blood supply and a 24/7 helpline, also stepping up communication and awareness campaigns to address misinformation on COVID-19 immunisation.
The announcement comes a day ahead of India and the EU will hold the virtual summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the meeting of the European Council at the invitation of President of the European Council, Charles Michel on May 8 as a special invitee.
The India-EU Leaders' meeting is hosted by Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa. Portugal currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Hoyer said that the European Investment Bank stands by India during these challenging times and the donation is a sign of solidarity and support.
President Hoyer opened the signature ceremony for three new EIB-backed sustainable investment projects.
The EIB and its Indian partners the State Bank of India and the Ministry of Finance signed EUR 300 million investments in urban metro systems in the cities of Kanpur and Pune, and a EUR 25 million investment in NEEV II, an equity fund set up to support small and medium businesses in India with innovative solutions for climate action.
"Five years ago, Prime Minister Modi called upon the EIB to accelerate support for high-impact sustainable transport investment and climate across India. Today's new agreements will further support the transformation of urban mobility for millions of commuters through the construction of new world-class metro networks in Kanpur and Pune," Hoyer said in a statement.
"Our new cooperation with the State Bank of India, through the innovative NEEV II fund, will unlock EUR 100 million of sustainable business investment by companies across India. As outlined by the new EIB-International Solar Alliance study on off-grid solar, visionary and ambitious long-term public and private investment and sharing best-practice is key to strengthening India's green recovery from COVID-19," he added. (ANI)