France Gives $15M for Water, Electricity Loans

The French Agency for De­velopment (AFD) signed a $15 million concessional loan agreement Monday with the Foreign Trade Bank (FTB) to increase access to loans among public and private electricity and water providers. The FTB, during a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance, also received a grant worth $4.2 million from the European Union.

“The loan will be provided to all water and electricity suppliers across the country,” said Lay Rachana, a senior manager at FTB in charge of the project. “A team from AFD can examine the business operations of water and electricity suppliers and determine whether they have standards and are suitable for our project,” she added.

A press statement distributed yesterday said that the AFD’s funding is meant to spread water and electricity access to rural areas. “50,000 households are expected to benefit from a better access to water services while an estimated 35,000 households could benefit from increased access to electricity through the assistance of 50 small and medium operators,” the press release says.

Ms. Rachana could not disclose the interest rate that FTB will charge operators, but noted that that the standard interest rate for credit in the sector was 11 to 12 percent.

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