The EU has issued a 2.6-billion-euro (about 3.6-billion-U.S. dollar) 10-year benchmark bond to be lent onward to Ireland (0.8 billion euros), and to Portugal (1.8 billion euros), as part of their financial assistance programs. "This was done by the European Commission on behalf of the EU under the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM)," the EU said in a statement late Tuesday. According to the statement, for Ireland, it is the last EFSM disbursement under the financial assistance program which successfully concluded last December, and for Portugal, only one further disbursement is now outstanding. Market access at favorable conditions has recently been confirmed for both countries. Since 2011, Ireland and Portugal have received loans from financial assistance programs, jointly provided by the EU (EFSM), the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). So far, including today's issuance, the EU via the EFSM has disbursed the entire agreed amount of 22.5 billion euros (about 31.3 billion U.S. dollars) to Ireland and 23.9 billion euros (about 33.2 billion U.S. dollars) to Portugal.