"CEB funding will ease the budgetary pressure on the public health care sector. The authorities have already approved measures totaling €1.8 billion to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include the acquisition of disposable personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and non-invasive ventilators," said a statement by the CEB ahead of the formal approval.
The loan from the CEB will focus on support for health care, including medical personnel involved in prevention and treatment of COVID-19, as well as other persons working in high-risk environments, supporting vulnerable groups, families with children and ensuring continuity of essential services in the country.
"The loan application was formally submitted on 30 April by the Latvian representative to the CEB Administrative Council. The approval then followed a fast-track procedure in order to make sure the financing is approved and then disbursed when needed," the CEB told LSM English.
Based in Paris, the CEB is a multilateral development bank with an exclusively social mandate, promoting social cohesion and social integration in Europe. It participates in financing social projects, responds to emergency situations and contributes to improving the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups.
Set up in 1956, the CEB has 41 member states who are also the bank’s shareholders. All countries that are members of the Council of Europe are eligible to join the CEB - though not all have taken up the option.
Latvia joined the CEB in September 1998 and a list of the projects the bank has financed so far is available at its website. Latvia holds 0.234% of the bank's capital.