Azerbaijan, Baku, July 2 /Trend, R.Darakhshan/
European Commission has decided to grant an additional €85 million to the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) for 2010, European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument website reported.
This will allow neighbouring partner countries to leverage increased funding for major investment projects in key areas such as energy, transport and environment, as well as in the social sector (for projects such as construction of schools and hospitals). Private sector development will also be encouraged, targeting especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
"We are encouraged by the positive results already achieved through this instrument during the past two years. Projects supported represent total investments of close to € 8.5 billion so far. Today's decision underlines our commitment to support our neighbours in key sectors such as environment, transport or provision of health and social services," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy
Štefan Füle said.
The NIF was officially launched in May 2008 in order to strengthen overall EU grant support for lending operations carried out by European multilateral and bilateral development finance institutions in
ENP partner countries. Azerbaijan, together with Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, has been participating in the EU "Eastern Partnership" since 2009.