The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement on provision of a loan of EUR 12.5 million for financing the purchase of 64 large buses for Mariupol.

The IFC announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

According to the statement, the 13-year loan, the IFC’s first in Ukraine under its Cities Initiative, will also help rehabilitate Mariupol’s existing public transportation infrastructure—including a bus depot, bus workshop tools and equipment, and a traffic planning and management system. The project will increase the capacity of public transport in the city, as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

"We systematically improve transport infrastructure of Mariupol. In the last three years, we have increased our municipal transport fleet by 113 new, modern, efficient, and comfortable buses. However, it is just the beginning. We are committed to do more and rely on our international partners to help Mariupol achieve its ambitious plans,” said Mariupol’s Mayor Vadym Boichenko.

“The IFC is committed to help Ukrainian cities address their most pressing infrastructure challenges so they can improve citizen’s living standards and attract private investment that promotes economic growth,” said Wiebke Schloemer, IFC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia. “Today’s announcement is the first step in the building of a long-term strategic partnership to help Ukraine build sustainable cities."

"Decentralization has been one of the key priorities of the government since 2014, and we have already transferred a lot of financial resources and responsibility to municipalities. Therefore, we consider it extremely important for our international partners to support this approach with financial resources. The IFC’s investments in the infrastructure of Mariupol, which is located 30 kilometers from the frontline, is the best proof of our partners' confidence in Ukraine. We hope that financing of municipalities will become one of the IFC’s important areas of activities in the future, and we would be very grateful if the IFC could be the first international financial institution to provide such funding in local currency. The Finance Ministry is ready to support this idea," said Ukraine’s Deputy Finance Minister for European Integration Yurii Heletei.

The IFC previously announced that the loan would amount to 14% of Mariupol’s projected $ 90 million multi-sectoral investment program in the period of 2019-2020.

The IFC is one of the leading international investors in the private sector in Ukraine: its total investment in long-term projects in various sectors of the Ukrainian economy amounts to has more than USD 3.2 billion.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, the Zaporizhia-Mariupol highway will be repaired at the cost of UAH 1 billion.