The social development bank for Europe


The CEB publishes a study on vulnerability

2 December 2016

CEB Support for Vulnerable PopulationsPARIS – The CEB released its latest economic study “CEB Support for Vulnerable Populations.”

This publication presents an overview of the CEB’s long-standing experience in improving the living conditions of vulnerable populations in Europe. It also assesses recent trends in and sources of vulnerability across CEB member states and their implications for the Bank’s role in addressing these increasingly complex and cross-cutting trends and challenges.


  • The study describes vulnerability as a complex, multifaceted and elusive phenomenon. Related not only to income limitations but also to a variety of other factors such as age, ethnicity, social status, illness, disability as well as to climate change, vulnerability requires a comprehensive approach. This implies recognising the interrelated implications of a range of life domains such as employment, health and long-term care, education and housing. One of the findings of the study is that initiatives to promote social inclusion need to take place on various fronts and at multiple levels. Depending on the local context and the targeted population, comprehensive responses can thus provide more focused support and deliver greater inclusiveness.
  • From a sectoral standpoint, the focus of the study is placed on access to adequate housing and local infrastructure, health and education, employment and financial inclusion, as well as climate change adaptation, in connection with the CEB’s fields of action. Particular attention is given to migrants and their families, whose situation makes them an especially vulnerable group with needs ranging from emergency aid to long-term assistance. The study shows how, by financing social projects, the CEB makes its unique contribution to alleviating vulnerability situations and to supporting the resilience of individuals and local economies.
  • One of the key lessons learned from the CEB’s experience in financing projects targeting vulnerable populations is that these projects are extremely complex and that it is vital to achieve the sustainability of successful results in the long term.
  • To conclude, the study explores ways of enhancing the Bank’s relevance and social impact for the populations in need, which are increasing in both number and profile. Building on the Bank’s experience of six decades in this field, the final chapter of the study emphasises how important it is to move beyond the concept of inclusion and implement investment projects in order to ensure that the lives of the many who are vulnerable in society are further improved and protected.

The full study and its abstract are available on the CEB’s website.

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.

Related publications
  • CEB Support for Vulnerable Populations
    CEB Support for Vulnerable Populations
    Published: December 2016 Download
  • CEB Support for Vulnerable Populations Abstract
    CEB Support for Vulnerable Populations - Abstract
    Published: December 2016 Download