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Migrant and refugee crisis: CEB provides emergency assistance to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

30 October 2015

Stephan Sellen and Dimo SpasovPARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is granting € 2.2 million to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” to ensure that refugees transiting through the country have access to shelter, food and basic necessities.

The grant agreement was signed today in Skopje by Mr. Dime Spasov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Mr. Stephan Sellen, Deputy Director General for Loans and Social Development, CEB.

The grant is disbursed by the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), established by the CEB to finance reception and transit centres in member countries in order to assist with their immediate response to the current crisis.

Among other segments, the MRF grant will finance the installation of a full industrial kitchen and several field kitchens in the reception centres, based on UNHCR recommendations. This will facilitate food preparation and ensure that refugees have access to warm meals.  

Gevgelija reception centreTo further improve their living conditions the grant will also fund the distribution of non-food items such as winter clothes and blankets. CEB’s assistance will cover the running costs of the reception centres as well as all the works needed to adapt them to winter conditions.

MRF aims at supporting CEB member states’ efforts to ensure that migrants and refugees who arrive on their territory enjoy basic human rights, such as shelter, food and medical aid, as well as personal security. The CEB has endowed MRF with € 5 million and is inviting donors to contribute funds to reach an amount of € 20 - 25 million.

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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