Portugal’s €400 million care investment

By Joe Sargent27 October 2020

Henrique Cruz Portugal

Henrique Cruz, CEO of Portugal’s Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) office

A plan for a €400 million investment in Portugal’s elderly care infrastructure has secured €200 million in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The investment will comprise around 150 national projects aimed at upgrading infrastructure for long-term and elderly care across Portugal, including schemes for those with disabilities.

The loan, payable to the Portuguese government’s Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) office, will be matched by the IFD and channelled into third-sector entities already providing services for the elderly in Portugal.

Financial intermediaries will be selected through a call to tender process carried out by the IFD and will be required to match the amount lent by the EIB, thus making a total of up to €400 million available for the investment programme.

Portugal reportedly has one of Europe’s highest percentages of unhealthy seniors over the age of 65 and one of the highest ageing indices, with 153.2% reached in 2017.

This operation will allow third-sector entities, such as the Misericórdias and Instituições Particulares de Solidariedade Social (IPSS), to develop an investment programme in the sector.

The goal is to increase existing availability since the current facilities are outdated and in many cases unable to cater for present needs. As a result, the Portuguese government is forced to provide continuing care in a hospital setting, thereby placing the national health service under much greater strain, or families are obliged to become or hire informal caregivers without the requisite training.

IFD CEO Henrique Cruz said, “This initiative is the latest outcome of the close relationship between the IFD and the EIB Group. It 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 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.”

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