The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and Comunidad de Madrid have signed an agreement for a 200 million euros loan to support the latter’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reinforce the level of medical services provided to its citizens. Spain has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic and Comunidad de Madrid, which has a population of almost 7 million, accounts for almost one third of all confirmed cases in the country. As a result, its health and social care systems have come under tremendous strain in recent months and there are increased needs in the region for medical facilities, equipment and staff.
The loan provided by the CEB will finance part of the unforeseen expenditures related to the pandemic. More specifically, the funds will cover extra medical and pharmaceutical supplies; specialised equipment needed for COVID-19 patients, such as ventilators; additional medical staff including doctors and nurses as well as auxiliary staff; additional contractors for cleaning and disinfection services. These will benefit the population at large, particularly the region’s 1.2 million inhabitants who are over 65 years old.
Javier Fernández Lasquetty, Regional Minister of Finance said “I would like to thank the CEB for the support provided to Comunidad de Madrid, which will help to mitigate the effects of the health crisis due to COVID-19.” CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “In light of this unprecedented crisis, there is an immediate need to strengthen the health capacity of CEB member countries in order to assist them in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan agreement signed with Comunidad de Madrid, the first one signed between the CEB and a European region in these difficult circumstances, will alleviate the strain on the health sector and mitigate the effects of the crisis on the local population".
The loan agreement is the third between the CEB and Comunidad de Madrid and one of the very first to be approved by fast-track procedure as part of the CEB’s immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The signing was carried out via electronic signatures in compliance with COVID-19 lockdown conditions in Spain and France.