The EBRD and World Refugee Day

By Lucia Sconosciuto

Zaatari camp

Investments worth €352 million help Jordan and Turkey cope with the Syrian refugee crisis

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) today marks World Refugee Day and remembers the millions of people around the world forced to leave their homes because of violence and war.

 The EBRD is also paying tribute to the resilience of the many nations that have welcomed refugees in a spirit of solidarity and turned overwhelming challenges into economic opportunities.

For the past two years the EBRD has been responding to the refugee crisis caused by the Syrian conflict, providing support in Jordan and Turkey, to where millions of people have fled.

To help these countries cope with the emergency, the EBRD has so far invested €352 million to improve municipal services, promote small and medium-sized enterprises and stimulate economic inclusion. Projects have been funded with a blend of EBRD finance and grants from donors.

The EBRD’s response to the refugee crisis targets host communities and refugees alike. It improves public services such as water and solid waste management to alleviate pressures caused by a rapidly increasing population.

It helps to increase employment opportunities with finance and advice to small businesses and offers inclusion programmes to advance economic participation through skill mapping and training, with a focus on young people and women.

New short documentary follows Syrian refugees helped by the Bank and internationally funded projects in Jordan.

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The refugee response has been supported by the European Union, Finland, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Taipei China, the United Kingdom, the United States of America,  EBRD’s Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Multi Donor Account (Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taipei China and the United Kingdom) and the Concessional Financing Facility. Cumulatively they provided €121 million of co-financing grant and an additional €13 million for technical cooperation projects.

In Jordan, the EBRD has provided over €100 million to the Greater Amman Municipality to help the city cope with a 25 per cent increase in the generation of waste.

 It  financed the construction of a wastewater network in 15 towns in West Irbid, providing sanitation for the first time to approximately 105,000 residents and helped construction companies  offer training and employment opportunities to both host and refugee communities.

The Bank’s business advisory programmes have reached hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises in Turkey and Jordan, including those employing or led by Syrians.

In Turkey, for example, the Bank is boosting the capacity of Gaziantep’s Chamber of Commerce to better serve local businesses, including many owned by Syrians.

Watch, read, and listen to our stories on refugee support.

Watch: Refuge in Jordan - a new start for Syrians

Read: From crisis to opportunity - How smart thinking in Jordan informs its support for refugees"

Listen: Refugees and their hosts