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Portugal: CEB provides additional grant to Portuguese Refugee Council for unaccompanied minors

8 July 2019

LOURES – The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, signed on 6 July a grant agreement with the Portuguese Refugee Council for the benefit of the Reception Centre for Unaccompanied Minors in Lisbon. Mónica Farinha, Director, and Tito Matos, Vice Director, signed on behalf of the Portuguese Refugee Council (PRC). The signing was followed by a site visit by members of the Bank’s Governing Board and Administrative Council, who were in Portugal for the CEB’s annual Joint Meeting.

Rolf Wenzel and Mónica Farinha
Rolf Wenzel and Mónica Farinha
The grant of €20,000 is in addition to a €2.5 million grant previously provided to the PRC. It will finance refurbishment works and other improvements to the facilities and equipment of the Centre for Unaccompanied Minors. The initial €2.5 million grant had financed the construction of a new refugee reception centre in Loures and the extension of the Centre for Unaccompanied Minors in Lisbon. The extension allowed for doubling the accommodation capacity for unaccompanied minors and improved the legal and education services offered to the children. 

© Sylvie Dupic
© Sylvie Dupic
Both grants were provided through the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), which was set up by the CEB in 2015 to assist its member countries in accommodating and integrating migrants and refugees who arrived on their territories. 

The Portuguese Refugee Council is the operational partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to Portugal. The Council is a non-profit organisation that manages reception facilities and provides asylum and integration support to refugees based on protocols signed with the Portuguese Government. 

On the occasion of the signing, CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel said: “Twenty-two CEB member states have contributed to the MRF, alongside the CEB and the European Investment Bank. Together, we have raised close to € 30 million and, with this grant, I am happy to confirm that all MRF resources have been allocated to projects benefitting migrants and refugees.” 

The signing followed a successful annual CEB Joint Meeting, hosted by Portugal in its capital Lisbon on 5 July.

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 (AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, 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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