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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is making a EUR 5 million contribution to the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF) recently established by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). This is the largest donor contribution to date. EIB President Werner Hoyer and CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel signed the contribution agreement today at the CEB’s headquarters in Paris.

The Fund was established by CEB member states earlier this month, following a proposal by Governor Wenzel. Set up to assist CEB countries in coping with the migrant and refugee crisis, it will finance primarily reception and transit centres. Projects aimed at facilitating the integration of migrants and refugees may also receive financing.

The CEB endowed the MRF with EUR 5 million and invited donors to contribute funds with a view to reaching an amount of EUR 20 - 25 million. The initiative has received strong support. The EIB joins Germany, the Slovak Republic and Cyprus in pledging a contribution to the Fund.

Following the signing ceremony, Werner Hoyer said: “Making sure migrants and refugees have access to shelter, food, medical aid and personal security now is critical and urgent to address the current emergency. We strongly support the timely establishment of the Fund. The EU Bank is ready to offer further support, including by stepping up cooperation with the CEB on individual projects to address the longer term needs.”

Rolf Wenzel welcomed the EIB’s contribution and said: “On behalf of the CEB, I would like to thank the EIB for its generous contribution. I see this as an important act of European solidarity, at a time when Europe is confronted with a serious crisis. I am confident that more donors will follow suit.”