The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to meet the challenge of an extraordinary moment in Europe's history, the collapse of communism in its East. It invests mainly in private enterprises, usually together with commercial partners. It provides project financing for the financial sector and the real economy, both new ventures and investments in existing companies. The EBRD is owned by 65 countries and two intergovernmental institutions – the European Union and the European Investment Bank. It operates in 36 countries.