EIB commits additional funding to the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund

19 April 2021

PARIS - CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel and EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova signed a €250 000 contribution agreement for the CEB’s Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) to support the improvement of living conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s refugee camps and centres. The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ambassador Johann Sattler, attended the virtual event.

The contribution will finance non-food items and operating expenses as well as essential services to the residents of the camps and centres and to the Lipa camp in particular.

Today’s agreement follows on a €5 million contribution made by the EIB shortly after the establishment of the MRF, in October 2015, and confirms EIB’s status as the second largest contributor to the MRF, after the CEB. The contribution will complement EU-funded humanitarian assistance for refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Governor Rolf Wenzel thanked Ambassador Johann Sattler for his interest in the CEB’s activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and welcomed the EIB’s contribution. He said: “The European Union, through the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, is our largest donor and privileged partner. I would like to thank the EIB for its renewed support to the MRF, which reconfirms the Fund’s relevance. In the coming weeks, the Bank’s services will translate this additional contribution and other MRF resources to concrete grant support for refugees and migrants located in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other places on the Balkan Route.”

Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova stated: “Today’s agreement complements EIB’s €5 million contribution to the Migrant and Refugee Fund. This donation will help address the most urgent daily needs of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also expands our multi-million support to communities affected by the migrant crisis extended through EIB`s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI). The EIB is committed to remain a reliable partner for the Western Balkans region and Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus supporting better preparedness to shocks caused by the migration, poverty and natural disasters through the ERI.”  

Ambassador Johann Sattler said: “Recently, the BiH Ministry of Security has taken positive steps towards coordinating the migration response, such as launching the drafting of a migration strategy for 2021-2025 and setting up a permanent camp in Lipa, in line with international standards. In this context, we welcome the fact that the EIB and CEB come strongly and timely together on a matter of particular importance for the region, which needs international support and compassion. I am looking forward to our continued cooperation and coordination on migration.”

In October 2015, at the height of the refugee crisis, the CEB established a €28-million Migrant and Refugee Fund to support its member countries in accommodating and/ or integrating migrants and refugees who arrive on their territories. Twenty-two CEB member states, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, have contributed to the MRF. Among CEB member states, the largest contributors are Germany, France, and Italy. The MRF support to Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts to €1.4 million. The grants allocated to date focused on the rehabilitation of the Ušivak temporary reception centre and the provision of assistance and protection services to vulnerable migrants.

Around 8,000 refugees and migrants are currently present in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while close to 70,000 refugees and migrants arrived in and transited the country via the Western Balkans migration route since the beginning of 2018.

More information on the MRF can be found here

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 stable 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.