The EBRD’s inclusive response to the refugee crisis targets host communities and refugees alike and aims to help lessen pressure on social cohesion and have an immediate impact.
It delivers investments to alleviate the strain on public services. It aims to increase employment opportunities through finance and advice to small businesses. It also offers inclusion programmes to facilitate economic participation through skill mapping and training, especially for young people and women.
New short documentary follows Syrian refugees helped by the Bank and internationally funded projects in Jordan.
Our plan of activities, which relies on essential donor support, covers three urgent priorities in Jordan and Turkey.
Infrastructure development - In order to alleviate the already significant strain on public services such as water and sanitation, solid waste and urban transport, the EBRD invests in municipal infrastructure to support critical improvements and to adapt the services to the increased demand in refugee-hosting communities. Substantial grant co-financing is especially important in the municipal sector.
EBRD investments also include support for project design and implementation, ensuring that accurate environmental and social impact assessments are taken into account from the outset. At the same time, the Bank involves utility companies in capacity-building training to ensure the adoption of best practice in areas such as financial management, tariff regime and corporate governance.
An important element of these projects are stakeholder engagement programmes which involve representatives of all concerned communities, in this case both host-community and refugees. The programmes provide information about the projects and a platform to voice concerns. They also roll out educational campaigns about how to use resources efficiently (e.g. how to dispose of solid waste, how to save water) as well as opportunities offered by services (e.g. public transport routes and ticket tariffs).
Finally, EBRD investments are complemented by sector reform activities, focusing on increasing the operational and financial sustainability and efficiency of the sector, including private sector involvement.
Small and medium-sized enterprises growth– Promoting growth and the improved performance and competitiveness of small businesses is a key component in strengthening economic resilience in refugee-hosting communities.
Under its Small Business Initiative, the EBRD is working to improve access to finance and know-how for small businesses in underserved areas of south-eastern and central Turkey and Jordan.
The Bank is working with local financial institutions to develop credit lines for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, including risk sharing, as well as providing direct financing to businesses.
The EBRD also helps small businesses to access the know-how they need to develop and grow. Our offer includes advisory projects with local consultants as well as training courses for businesses.
At the same time, the Bank is working with local business support organisations, helping them to offer more support to entrepreneurs by providing information on regulations, access to finance and strengthening local professional networks and knowledge of local supply chains.
Economic inclusion and gender – In support of refugee-hosting countries the EBRD is building on its private sector-led economic inclusion approach as well as its strong commitment to promote gender equality to enhance access to better skills, formal employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The Bank is working with its clients, governments and other key stakeholders to increase the quality of local training based on employers’ skills requirements, create opportunities for skills verification, and support the creation of better knowledge about the impact of the refugee crisis on all parts of the community.
In parallel, the Bank aims to provide pre-employment training for job seekers in partnership with prospective employers and provide job-matching and career guidance.
The EBRD is furthermore exploring ways in which to enhance the financial inclusion of local communities, including refugees, through the extension of financial products to people outside the formal banking system.
The Bank is addressing the needs of women and men. Recognising that refugee women find additional barriers to their social and economic integration, the Bank aims to implement women-targeted interventions to support their access to employment, entrepreneurship and basic services.