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France contributes € 3 million to Migrant and Refugee Fund

1 February 2016

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) welcomes France’s announcement that it is contributing € 3 million to the Bank’s Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF).

The MRF is a grant facility established by the CEB in October 2015 to help member countries cope with the influx of migrants and refugees. The CEB endowed the MRF with € 5 million and invited donors to contribute funds with a view to reaching an amount in the region of € 20 - 25 million.

Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, and Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, in a joint letter to CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel stated: “Support to refugees and migrants is part of the mandate and raison d’être of the CEB. The experience which the Bank has accumulated in this area and its unique shareholder base should enable it to become an active player whose involvement is welcome.”

Governor Wenzel said: “I am grateful to the French government for this generous contribution to the Migrant and Refugee Fund, which reaffirms France’s support to the Bank and underlines its commitment to the principle of solidarity between European peoples.”

Almost € 14 million in emergency grants has been approved for countries in the Balkan region, with further projects in the pipeline. Priority is given to the financing of reception and transit centres, especially to the provision of medical care to refugees and the installation of sanitary facilities and food preparation equipment in those centres.

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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