On 3 December 2018, in Melilla, a grant agreement was signed between the Council of Europe Development bank (CEB) and the Spanish authorities (Instituto Nacional de Gestión Sanitaria, INGESA) to support healthcare services for migrants and refugees transiting through the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. The CEB grant of € 1.15 million will contribute to the provision of enhanced healthcare assistance as well as to the faster identification and proper registration of migrants and refugees, through the acquisition of key equipment, the use of new biometric processes, and the appropriate training of personnel. The funds will also ensure that migrant patients infected with HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis, and also pregnant women receive appropriate medical assistance and follow-up care. The Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees (SRSG), Ambassador Tomáš Boček, was invited to attend the signature ceremony as the agreement was a concrete follow-up to recommendations from his fact-finding report on Spain. “I would like to congratulate the Spanish authorities and the Council of Europe Development Bank for their swift reaction to support healthcare for vulnerable migrants and refugees in Ceuta and in Melilla, he said.
Vice-Governor Sánchez-Yebra said: “Migrant inflows into Europe are far from over and the CEB continues to assist its member countries not only in dealing with arriving or transiting migrants and refugees but also in ensuring their smooth integration into society. Healthcare is a priority area. The CEB grant will ensure that the healthcare system of Ceuta and Melilla can offer quality medical assistance to vulnerable migrants and refugees.”
The funds are provided from the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), a grant-based facility established by the CEB in 2015 to help member states tackle the inflow of migrants and refugees.