EUR 250 M WB loan to improve healthcare


The World Bank’s board is set to approve a EUR 250 million loan to Romania tomorrow to improve the country’s health care infrastructure, said Elisabetta Capannelli, the lender’s country manager, in an interview in Bucharest with Bloomberg, Mediafax informs.  The Washington-based lender is working with the Romanian government on a new country partnership strategy for 2014-2017 that may include funding of EUR 1 billion a year, Capannelli said. The loan has a repayment period of 18 years. The money would be used to modernize hospitals, improve health governance and help fight different diseases, such as cancer, according to Capannelli. It may take as much as six months for lawmakers to ratify a program, allowing for disbursement to start, she said. “This is only a first step and a lot remains to be done as there is an important gap between the quality of Romania’s health care system compared with the rest of the European Union,” Capannelli said. Romania will probably also tap another EUR 300 million from the World Bank this year as part of a 1 billion-euro loan approved last year, from which it has used EUR 700 million, to help fund its budget deficit, according to WB official. “The money is at the disposal of Romania and we expect it to be drawn either by the end of the current fiscal year or next,” Capannelli said.

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