€400m to be spent on improving Portugal’s long-term care infrastructure

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to co-finance a €400m loan to upgrade Portugal’s care infrastructure. The money will be used on 150 projects across the country catering to elderly and disabled people.

The fund, which will be co-financed by the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD), will be given to third-sector care-providers and used on the construction, refurbishment and upgrade of their premises. Most project grants will be less than €50m.

Portugal has one of Europe’s highest percentages of unhealthy seniors over the age of 65, and has a shortage of suitable infrastructure. This leads elderly people to be treated in hospitals, which strains the national health service.

The EIB notes that the money will help not only those requiring care, but also their support network.

Ricardo Mourinho Félix, the EIB’s vice-president, said: "This partnership with the IFD aims at improving care infrastructure for the most fragile Portuguese citizens such as elderly population and disabled citizens."

Henrique Cruz, IFD’s chief executive, said: "The project will be developed in partnership with third-sector entities and play a decisive role in compensating for the market failure resulting from the very long maturity of these projects and their strong dependence on public investment and support.

"This market failure is particularly acute in times of Covid-19 with the need to expand capacity and improve the quality of elderly care services in Portugal. The IFD has received strong signs of interest from financial intermediaries in allocating these funds."

Image: Lisbon (Rogério Bernardo/Dreamstime)

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