The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) approved almost €2 million in grants from its Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine and arriving in Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, and the Republic of Moldova. This brings the total amount of MRF grants approved in response to the Ukraine crisis to €5.1 million.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 5.9 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since 24 February 2022. This number is rising and threatening to overwhelm the social systems of receiving CEB member countries.
“In line with our historic mandate to help refugees, migrants, and displaced people, we continue to show solidarity and support for the people fleeing the war in Ukraine,” noted CEB Governor Carlo Monticelli. “We are engaging with our stakeholders and partners in the field to find the most effective way for our financing to meet the evolving needs of refugees and host communities.”
The four new grants will be used to finance the immediate and most urgent needs of refugees: healthcare services; counseling and psychological support; training in digital skills and e-services; and renovation and extension of reception centers.
The recipients of the grants are:
- International Migration Organization (IOM) in Bulgaria (€400,000);
- Estonian Refugee Council (almost €200,000);
- Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour of Lithuania (almost €500,000);
- Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova (€900,000).
Thanks to its past experience and the MRF track record since 2015, the CEB has been able to identify needs in the field quickly by leveraging its strong ties with public authorities, international partners, and country-specific actors.
In March 2022, it approved €3.1 million from the MRF in a fast-track procedure to the country offices of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, and the Slovak Republic, as well as to the Refugee Facilities Administration of the Czech Ministry of the Interior.