The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) continued to deliver strong support for its regions in 2016 with a powerful programme of investments that helped modernise economies and make them more robust and resilient.
In another economically challenging year, the EBRD stepped up its investments in key strategic areas where the Bank can make an important impact.
In total in 2016, the EBRD invested in 378 individual projects worth €9.4 billion, matching the previous record set in 2015.
The EBRD stepped up its financing in local currencies with 93 local currency projects in 2016 compared with 80 a year earlier. And it maintained a strong level of investment in small businesses that are seen as key to ensuring underlying economic strength and providing job opportunities.
The EBRD increased the number of its projects in the least advanced transition countries to 114 in 2016 from 102 a year earlier.
Reflecting the implementation of its Green Economy Transition approach, the share of environmental financing rose to 33 per cent from 31 per cent of total annual investment. This financing included projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate resilience and resource efficiency.
As it continued to reach out right across the societies of its countries of operations, the Bank made progress with its gender programmes, increasing its financing for gender oriented projects to 29 projects in 2016 compared with 23 in 2015.
Strong investments across the EBRD’s regions in 2016 went hand in hand with initiatives to further enhance organisational effectiveness and efficiency.
The Bank’s updated transition concept was approved in November and seeks to make the Bank’s countries of operations competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, resilient and integrated, equipping them for the challenges of the 21st century.
As the year drew to a close, the EBRD celebrated the culmination of many years of effort when a monumental arch was finally manoeuvred into position over the deadly radioactive remains of the reactor destroyed at Ukraine’s nuclear power plant in Chernobyl 30 years ago.
The EBRD, the single largest donor to this project, has managed funding from the international community for this venture, one of the most ambitious in engineering history.