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The European Investment Bank (EIB) increases its presence in Albania by providing some EUR 11 million to finance the regeneration of the Lana River area in Tirana. The new investment is the Bank’s first integrated urban regeneration project in the Western Balkans, encompassing several sectors including mobility,

public transport, urban infrastructure and flood risk protection.

At the same time, the EU bank is opening a Desk Office at the EU Delegation in Tirana and appointing Alessandro Bragonzi as EIB Representative for Albania, Kosovo* and North Macedonia.

The Lana River project is the first operation under the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) to receive an investment grant. The grant, which is financed by ERI donor resources and valued at EUR 2.4 million, is part of a comprehensive financial package from the EIB that also includes a EUR 8 million loan and EUR 500,000 in technical assistance.

The cooperation agreement for the project was signed today in Tirana by the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj  and EIB Head of Division for operations in Slovenia, Croatia and Western Balkans, Matteo Rivellini. It will ensure that the project will be implemented in line with best practice and EU environmental and social standards, conforming to EIB’s economic and social requirements.

The improvements to public transport, wastewater and flood risk management services that the EIB is helping to finance are part of an effort to improve lives in the wider city. This operation alone will deliver benefits to around 65,000 people, of which 20,000 are local inhabitants who live on the banks of the Lana River. As part of the works, 1,100 residents of the affected area are being resettled. The Bank is working with the local authorities to ensure that this is carried out in line with the highest possible social standards.