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Migrant and refugee crisis: CEB provides emergency assistance to Serbia

30 October 2015

MRF grant agreement signing in SerbiaPARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) is granting € 2.3 million to Serbia to improve living conditions for refugees and migrants in reception centers and prevent a humanitarian crisis in the coming winter months.

The grant agreement was signed today in Belgrade by Jadranka Joksimović, Minister Without Portfolio in Charge of European Integration and National IPA Coordinator, and Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs. Mr. Stephan Sellen, Deputy Director General for Loans and Social Development, signed the agreement on behalf of the 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.

A significant part of the grant will be used for providing meals to refugees in three reception centers. With the MRF funds, the government will be able to hire physicians and nurses and purchase the necessary medical supplies to provide much needed medical care. The grant will also cover day-to-day running costs of the centres and improvements in living conditions, including the provision of sanitary facilities.

In addition to providing immediate assistance, the grant will also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs to coordinate the emergency measures among the multiple national and international parties involved.

MRF supports CEB member countries’ 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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