The FINANCIAL -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been helping communities in Jordan and Turkey cope with the influx of millions of people from war-torn Syria, with a refugee crisis response plan that has so far delivered investments worth €254 million.
Currently, around 6.6 million people, including one million refugees from neighbouring Syria, live and work in areas benefiting from EBRD investments and technical cooperation projects focused mainly on improving strained municipal infrastructure, which serves a population that has increased sharply. In addition, the EBRD refugee response aims to create job opportunities through boosting small businesses and increasing the economic inclusion of groups such as young people and women who are unable to participate fully in the economy.
Resilience and inclusion are at the core of the EBRD’s response to the developments in Jordan and Turkey. The Bank continues to work on a pipeline of projects potentially worth €900 million, including EBRD finance and grant blending. This is also supported by policy dialogue in areas such as public-private partnerships, skills development and employment. Donor funding contributed to date for existing and forthcoming projects, from the Bank’s own resources and from Finland, Norway, Taipei China, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Concessional Financing Facility and the European Union, totals approximately €180 million, according to EBRD.
In Jordan, among several projects in the municipal and infrastructure sector, the Bank has provided a €106 million loan to the Greater Amman Municipality for the solid waste infrastructure urgently needed in the country’s capital, given the significant increase in waste due to the number of Syrian refugees. A loan in Jordanian dinars, equivalent to €1.8 million, to Microfund for Women will increase access to finance for women, including refugees and people living in more remote regions.
In Turkey’s south-eastern region, the Bank is providing finance of €80 million to build a modern hospital in Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border, where refugees account for over a third of the population, under a public-private scheme. It is also working with the local chamber of commerce to support entrepreneurship and is looking to engage with Turkish banks to provide loans for small businesses active in refugee-hosting communities, boosting local economies and creating employment opportunities.
Pierre Heilbronn, EBRD Vice President for Policy and Partnerships, said: “To mark World Refugee Day tomorrow, we are renewing our commitment to continue supporting our countries’ host and refugee communities with investment, technical advice and policy reform efforts to tackle the challenges posed by the Syrian crisis. We are closely coordinating our actions with national response programmes, other international financial institutions and international efforts. Our grant-blending approach and private sector focus complement other types of crisis support such as the immediate humanitarian assistance and help the countries address the short and medium-term economic challenges they face.”
Through its refugee response work, the EBRD will continue to focus on developing the resilience and inclusiveness of local economies, improving public services and helping create jobs and economic opportunities for all.