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CEB receives an award from the Serbian authorities

21 December 2016

Mr Sellen with the award from the Serbian government
Mr Sellen with the award from the Serbian government
BELGRADE – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) was recognized by the Government of Serbia as the most valuable international institution in the area of social development for 2016.

The annual award was presented to the Bank at a ceremony held on 21 December in the National Theatre in Belgrade.  CEB’s Deputy Director General for Loans and Social Development, Stephan Sellen, accepted the award on behalf of the Bank.

The CEB was recognized for being the first-mover whose grant funding, via the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), enabled the country to start providing shelter and vital emergency aid at the peak of the migrant crisis in the autumn of 2015.  

To date Serbia has received € 3.5 million in grants from the MRF. CEB funding has been used to expand shelter capacity in reception facilities as well as to provide food, healthcare and legal advice to migrants and refugees.  

“The Bank is very proud to receive this award for its commitment to strengthening social cohesion in Europe and in particular to supporting countries receiving large numbers of migrants and refugees. We are pleased that the MRF funding allowed the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs to lead the coordination efforts on the migrant issues with other bilateral and multilateral donors in Serbia,” said Mr Sellen.  

The MRF is a trust fund established by the CEB in October 2015 to help its member states cope with migrant and refugee flows. The Bank has so far approved over € 18 million in grants for a total of 14 projects, mainly in the Balkan region.  

Priority is given to the financing of reception and transit centres, but the Fund may also be used to help CEB member countries to integrate migrant populations and enable them to rebuild their lives in dignified conditions.

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.

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