The social development bank for Europe


CEB provides IOM with a €1 million grant from its Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) for a reception facility in Bosnia and Herzegovina

25 July 2018

IOM-MRF grant press releaseSARAJEVO – The Vice Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rosa Sánchez-Yebra, and the Sub-Regional Western Balkans Coordinator Representative and Chief of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Peter Van der Auweraert, today signed an Agreement for a €1 million grant from the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) to help the country cope with renewed migratory inflows in 2018.

Since the end of 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina has seen a steady increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering the country, thereby requiring further support from the international community to provide shelter, food, healthcare and also protection services to the most vulnerable.

As first mover, the MRF grant will enable the setting-up of a reception facility in the area of Sarajevo which will contribute to a more structured response to the current migrant and refugee situation, encouraging other actors on the ground to provide services and assistance in the newly established centre.

The action will be targeted to upgrading the Ušivak facility in Hadzici, Sarajevo, currently administered by the Federal Red Cross. The grant will fund the refurbishment and equipment of existing constructions on the site, and the procurement of sleeping containers/rubb halls, sanitary units and sleeping material to accommodate some 400 persons.

The IOM’s Chief of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Van der Auweraert, welcomed the CEB delegation and thanked its members for their contribution to this bilateral cooperation. “The support of CEB is crucial, in a moment where in Bosnia we have more than 4000 people – the majority still sleeping rough, eating only once a day and having very limited access to water and sanitary services. The creation of the reception centre in Ušivak will not only respond to these basic needs, but also create a space where migrants and refugees can have access to a number of other services, such as psychosocial counselling, legal aid and access to asylum.”

Vice-Governor Sánchez-Yebra underlined the CEB’s commitment to continue giving its full support to CEB member countries receiving migrants and refugees and praised IOM as a valued partner to the Bank in this respect. “This MRF grant extended to IOM will constitute a critical element in expanding the reception capacity for migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we hope it will encourage other international and local actors to provide services and assistance in the newly established centre.”

The Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees (SRSG), Ambassador Tomáš Boček, also attended the signing ceremony. “The MRF grant to address the emergency situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a timely and well-targeted action. The CEB has been playing an important role in complementing the COE activities on protecting refugee and migrant children, with very tangible financial support”, stated Ambassador Boček.

The action is to be viewed as complementary to other response actions pursued by IOM, the European Union and other government and non-government actors.

This MRF grant will contribute to the implementation of the government’s plan for addressing the current migrant situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The MRF grant was commended by Samir Rizvo, Assistant Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and will be implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Security.

The CEB delegation also visited the Ušivak facility in Hadzici.

In October 2015 the CEB established a dedicated trust fund, the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), to help its member states cope with migrant and refugee flows. The Fund has so far received over €25 million in contributions from 23 donors and has approved €22 million in grants for 18 migrant and refugee projects. Recently approved projects focus on the most vulnerable among the migrants and refugees, such as unaccompanied children, victims of sexual and gender-based violence and single parents with underage children.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 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, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch 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.