CEB and Ukraine refugees

Addressing displacements in Europe is the reason the Council of Europe Development Bank was founded after the WWII. For over 65 years we have consistently supported timely and effective responses to relieve suffering and restore dignity to refugees and migrants. Millions of refugees fleeing Ukraine need our solidarity and support now, from emergency assistance to long-term integration in host communities.

Immediate assistance

The CEB was the first multilateral development bank to provide grant assistance for refugees from Ukraine. Initially, the Bank targeted its member states facing substantial refugee inflows from Ukraine (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovak Republic). It has provided grants to public authorities, international organisations and local partners to improve the living conditions of refugees. The CEB grants serve to provide safe transport, shelter, medical care, counselling to refugees and collect data on migration flows to better assess needs. 

Since the accession of Ukraine to the CEB in June 2023, the CEB also provides grant funding for projects in the country. The assistance aims to improve the living conditions of displaced and vulnerable households, including single-parent families, the elderly and persons with disabilities. So far, the CEB has approved €9.5 million in grants in response to the Ukrainian crisis. The grants are financed from the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) and the Ukraine Solidarity Fund, a trust fund set up specifically to provide assistance to people displaced from Ukraine and support the reconstruction of the country.

According to conservative estimates, the grants will reach around 800 persons/month on the ground and could benefit around 140 000 displaced persons, either at border crossings or through subsequent counselling and instruction. These numbers are being constantly under review and could change depending on migration flows.

Addressing long-term needs

Romania - IOM staff collecting DTM questionaires in Iasi.jpegAt the same time, the CEB pledged loan finance support to the CEB member countries hosting refugees from Ukraine.

Three projects, for the Czech Republic, Italy and Poland, in the total amount of €980 million were approved by the CEB Administrative Council on 3 June 2022. Then, on 8 July, three additional loans were approved in favour of projects in Germany and Lithuania totalling €325 million.

These loans could potentially benefit millions of persons who have crossed the borders to the respective countries from Ukraine.

The largest number of beneficiaries are those seeking refuge in Poland, which has received by far the largest number of refugees since the outbreak of the war. The Ukraine-crisis related loan to Poland worth €450 million is the highest ever one-off loan amount approved by the CEB.  

Social inclusion bonds

In April and June 2022 the CEB issued two social inclusion bonds whose proceeds will be used, in part or in full, to support Ukrainian refugees hosted by CEB member countries. The Bank first issued a €1 billion seven-year Social Inclusion Bond (SIB) and then a USD 1 billion three-year one.  

"Stand up for Ukraine" campaign

Stand up for Ukraine world leadersOn 9 April, CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli joined the world leaders in the 'Stand Up for Ukraine' pledging event, convened by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. 

The Governor announced that the CEB is making available an additional 1 billion euros in loans to meet long-term needs of refugees and host countries.

"The Council of Europe Development Bank stands passionately behind Ukraine and its people. We are proud to be part of the Stand Up for Ukraine campaign and join forces with others to stand up against this war and to contribute for peace in Europe."

Coordinated response 

MDBS-Ukraine.jpgOn 16 March Governor Carlo Monticelli and the heads of the EBRD, EIB, IMF, and World Bank Group discussed impacts on the global economy of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the respective and collective response to this crisis.

"We acknowledge the importance of working together to coordinate our respective responses to support Ukraine and neighbors on the financing and policy fronts and maximize impact on the ground. We are committed to strengthening international cooperation and solidarity in the face of this enormous challenge."

CEB statement on Ukraine

1 March 2022

"The CEB stands shoulder to shoulder with its member countries to face this crisis, in line with its historic mandate to provide aid to refugees, migrants and displaced persons."

Key figures (December 2022)

  • 2.1 million refugees

    expected to receive aid thanks to CEB financing (loans and grants combined)

  • €1.3 billion

    in loans approved to meet the long-term needs of the refugees and the host countries

  • €6.9 million

    in grants approved from Migrant and Refugee Fund for Ukraine response

Related publications
  • Integration_of_Refugees_Fleeing_the_Invasion_of_Ukraine
    Refugees fleeing the invasion of Ukraine: How host country integration policies support refugees
    This paper aims to offer policymakers, practitioners and the general public a brief literature review of recent developments in highlighting the challenges and opportunities of supporting and integrating refugees. Published: December 2022 Download