MIGRANTS, REFUGEES, INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS AND THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE DEVELOPMENT BANK (CEB)
Information note by the Secretariat of the Partial Agreement on the CEB
I. The Articles of Agreement of the CEB:
Aid to refugees, migrants and displaced persons is one of the CEB’s two statutory priorities (Article II of the Articles of Agreement) together with aid to victims of natural or ecological disasters:
“The primary purpose of the Bank is to help in solving the social problems with which European countries are or may be faced as a result of the presence of refugees, displaced persons or migrants consequent upon movements of refugees or other forced movements of populations (...).
The investment projects to which the Bank contributes may be intended either to help such people in the country in which they find themselves or to enable them to return to their countries of origin when the conditions for return are met, or, where applicable, to settle in another host country. These projects must be approved by a Member of the Bank.”
II. The CEB Policy for Loan and Project Financing (Resolution 1522 (2009) of the Administrative Council):
“Projects in favour of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons are eligible, particularly when they involve the construction and repair of reception structures (such as reception centres, temporary and permanent social housing), programmes of preventive and curative medicine, education and vocational training, as well as the technical infrastructure and basic equipment necessary to meet the immediate needs of populations victims of exceptional situations.
Moreover, projects approved in favour of such populations may benefit from accelerated procedures for appraisal, approval and – if justified – disbursement.” (Chapter 1, I, 1.1.).
III. Financing projects in non-member states of the CEB:
The CEB can finance projects in non-member countries under the following conditions:
- the non-member state (or one of its legal entities) has to be approved by a CEB member state;
- the project has to be approved by a CEB member state;
- the loan has to have a guarantee from a CEB member state or the Administrative Council has to consider any other type of guarantee as adequate;
- the authorities of the non-member state have to give their consent for the implementation of the project.
In case of humanitarian catastrophes, exceptional donations can be envisaged.
The final decision lies always in the hands of the Administrative Council.
IV. Examples of projects approved in favour of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons:
CEB’s activities in this field were analysed in a 2008 study entitled “Migration in Europe: The CEB’s Experience”. The study is accessible on the CEB website. The authors concluded that “over 50 years of the Bank’s existence, around € 5 billion have been disbursed on projects specifically targeted to refugees and displaced persons in the aftermath of crisis situations” across the three sectoral lines of action of the Bank.
Some individual examples of CEB projects:
- In 1996, a 5 million USD loan was approved in favour of Ministry of Health of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the partial financing of the civil works, furniture, equipment and supplies to establish 22 rehabilitation centres and upgrade 8 existing ones. It also partly financed additional civil works and equipment for 3 clinical centres and 5 regional hospitals to provide acute rehabilitative care following surgical intervention and it gave support for the production and maintenance of quality prostheses in 3 existing production units and 5 maintenance centres;
- In 1996, a 1.5 million USD loan was approved in favour of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the partial financing of the construction of drinking water supply facilities for the refugees and local population in the city of Tuzla;
- In 1998, a 5 million DEM loan was approved in favour of Kreditanstalt fϋr Wiederaufbau (KfW) (Germany) for the partial financing of a housing programme in favour of Bosnian refugees and displaced persons voluntarily returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Federal State of Baden-Wϋrtenberg. In March 2002, the project was modified in order to extend the eligibility for the loans to all nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether they were returning refugees, internally displaced persons or local residents;
- In 2000, a €30 407 888 loan was approved in favour of the Government of Croatia for the reconstruction of housing units, infrastructure and the provision of alternative accommodation for temporary users, be they refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina or internally displaced persons;
- In 2004 ,a €8 million was approved in favour of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the partial financing of the reconstruction of some 1,100 housing units to facilitate the return of 4,500 internally displaced persons living in temporary accommodation (collective centres or alternative accommodation)
- In 2011, a €100 million loan was approved in favour of Microbank-Banco Social de la Caixa (Spain), to partly finance projects for job creation and self-employment in order to enhance social cohesion by facilitating access to micro-credits to a target population with little or no access to traditional financing, in particular the migrants.
V. Examples of donations approved in favour of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons and financed via the Selective Trust Account:
- In 1999, a €2 million donation was approved in favour of Albania and “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, via the UNHCR. In Albania, €878,000 was allocated via the UNHCR to purchase 10 reverse osmosis plants and 6 cesspit emptier trucks, in order to provide drinkable water for refugees. In “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, € 1,100,000 was allocated via the UNHCR for communal infrastructure aimed at improving the water supply in the areas surrounding the refugee camps;
- In 2001, a €1 million donation was approved in favour of “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, via the UNDP, for emergency food aid (totalling €300,000) and the reconstruction of damaged housing infrastructure facilities (totalling €700,000);
- In 2004, a €574,178 donation was approved in favour of Serbia, via the UNHCR for the provision of building materials and assistance in kind for around 500 to 600 refugees households which have opted for local integration in Serbia. The beneficiaries were housed in Collective Centres which the Government of Serbia intended to close during that year;
- In 2008, a €265,000 donation was approved in favour of Bosnia and Herzegovina, via the UNHCR, to partly finance a project aimed at facilitating the return of displaced persons still living in Collective Centres;
- In 2008, a €265,000 donation was approved in favour of Serbia, via the UNHCR, to partly finance a project for the provision of micro-loans for displaced persons from Kosovo, seeking to integrate locally;
- In 2008, a €250,000 donation was approved in favour of Georgia, via the UNICEF, to partly finance a project aimed at setting up and equipping a community centre in favour of displaced and conflict affected children and their families;
- In 2008, a €250,000 donation was approved in favour of Georgia, via the UNDP, to partly finance a project aimed at facilitating the restoration of basic services and livelihoods in Shida Kartli region, for the benefit of the Internally Displaced Population, as well as the local population;
- In 2008, a €500,000 donation was approved in favour of Georgia, via the UNCHR to partly finance a project aiming at the rehabilitation and the preparation for winter of Collective Centres;
- In 2009, a €75,000 donation was approved in favour of Georgia, via the Council of Europe, to partly finance a project for the training of civil servants, central and local administrations and representatives of IDPs, on inter-community relations in Georgia.