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CEB Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy visits IOM Greece

16 March 2017

CEB Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy visits IOM GreecePARIS - Rosa María Sánchez-Yebra Alonso, Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), visited today the headquarters of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Greece in Athens and some of the accommodation centres supported by the CEB. 

On 9 December 2015, the CEB provided a grant of € 925,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The funds were sourced from the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) in response to the mass arrivals of refugees and migrants in Greece. 

The grant was used to finance a large range of activities aiming at improving the living conditions of refugees and migrants in six accommodation sites, while also supporting the Ministry of Migration policy in the management of refugee and migrant flows and the daily operation of these sites. 

The CEB project called “Financial Assistance from the Migrant and Refugee Fund for migrants and refugees in the Hellenic Republic” was implemented by the IOM from December 2015 to January 2017. 

Within the framework of this project, the CEB and the IOM assisted migrants at first reception centres on Lesvos, Leros, Chios, Fylakio, as well as in the informal site of Eidomi, by collecting and providing crucial information relevant to the support of newly arriving migrants. Moreover, the CEB and the IOM directly assisted migrants by delivering equipment such as bunk beds, bed linen, closets, dining tables and chairs to support the first reception centre on Leros. 

Through the project, the CEB and the IOM supported the Ministry for Migration policy by strengthening operational capacity in six accommodation sites in mainland Greece (Ritsona, Oinofyta, Malakasa, Derveni, Karamanlis, Katsikas). Additional steps were taken to enhance the migrants’ capacity to communicate with their families and access relevant information on asylum applications. 

The MRF was established in October 2015 to support CEB member countries’ efforts to ensure that migrants and refugees who arrive on their territory enjoy basic human rights, such as shelter, food, medical aid, and personal security. MRF projects implemented so far in Greece and in the Western Balkan region, in cooperation with the IOM and governments, have addressed as a matter of priority the needs of vulnerable migrants and refugees, demonstrating the CEB's proactive approach to mobilising resources early on in the crisis. 

The chief of the IOM’s mission in Greece, Daniel Esdras, welcomed the CEB delegation and thanked its members for their contribution to the successful bilateral cooperation. 

“IOM cooperation with CEB during the past 13 months has been excellent and significantly contributed to the humanitarian response in Greece. The programme had a positive impact on improving the conditions of migrant and refugee population in Greece, facilitating their communication with families and access to relevant information as well as in strengthening the interventions of Greek institutions. We are very pleased with the results of this programme”, said Daniel Esdras. 

Vice-Governor Sánchez-Yebra Alonso underlined the CEB’s commitment to continuing giving its full support to CEB member countries receiving migrants and refugees, and said that the IOM was a valued partner of the Bank in that respect.

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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