CEB approves almost €1.2 billion in new loans with focus on aid for Ukrainian refugees

3 June 2022

Paris - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) today approved five new loans totalling almost €1.2 billion. Most of the funds are earmarked for aid to refugees and displaced persons from Ukraine, while the rest will support environmental protection and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Europe.

“The Ukraine refugee crisis is putting a strain on our member states and we are focused on helping them overcome this enormous challenge,” said CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli. “At the same time, we are not losing sight of the other key areas in which our stakeholders need assistance, such as job creation, economic growth, and protection of the environment.”  

CEB’s €200 million loan to the Czech Republic will help the government to deal with the humanitarian emergency triggered by the mass influx of displaced persons from Ukraine. The loan will finance the initial humanitarian aid, allowances for housing, and hiring of temporary staff recruited to provide reception support. The main objective of the loan is to enable the Ukrainian refugees to adapt to Czech society by accessing stable housing, employment, education, healthcare and social services.

The Bank will also support Italy’s efforts to manage the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, in particular the emergency aid and measures implemented by the Italian Department of Civil Protection both in the country and abroad. CEB’s €330 million loan will co-finance reception, health and social care services, and subsistence for individuals arriving on the Italian soil. Furthermore, it will cover a portion of the immediate emergency services, goods and health support that Italy has provided to the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic, including emergency kits and humanitarian goods delivered in Ukraine. 

Finally, CEB’s largest approved loan ever – €450 million – will partially finance the “Aid Fund”, set up by the Government of Poland to refund the emergency and social aid costs incurred by entities at the frontline of aiding displaced persons from Ukraine. These include government ministries, municipalities and civil society organisations. Temporary assistance to displaced persons will be provided through multiple mechanisms, including direct support, community and individual support, and partnership with civil society. The focus will be on covering the costs of one-off living benefits and allowances for accommodation, subsistence and monthly allowances for children.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the CEB will facilitate access to finance for micro enterprises and private households, predominantly those led by women. Its €4 million loan to Mi-Bospo Microcredit Foundation will finance micro-credit loans and thus help eligible beneficiaries to engage in income generating activities, become self-employed, and start or scale-up micro-enterprises. The project will also support housing micro-credits for home improvements. 

In Spain, CEB’s € 200 million loan will co-finance Banco Santander’s lending activity in support of renewable energy projects. These investments are in line with the Spanish government’s commitment to reach emission neutrality by 2050, improve the country’s energy-mix, and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels. The project is also aligned with the Versailles Declaration, which calls on European Union member states to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects and transition to clean energy. The construction of renewable energy plants will create jobs, boost economic growth, and reduce green-house gas emissions. 

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive and AAA* with Scope Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.