Social Development Fund's Governing Board meeting in Paris on 12 April 1999: exceptional measures to help refugees from Kosovo
This solution will be based upon the granting to these international humanitarian organisations, through an exceptional levy on the Selective Trust Account (a special account into which payments are made from the Fund's annual profits), of a donation specially intended for the refugees from Kosovo in "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and in Albania, and clearly indicated as such. A recommendation to this effect was sent yesterday by the Governing Board to the Administrative Council, which should approve both the principle and the practical arrangements in the days ahead.
The dramatic situation of refugees from Kosovo is in fact of direct concern to the Council of Europe's Social Development Fund, which, since its inception in 1956, has included the provision of assistance to refugees and migrants as one of its priority aims. In the circumstances, it was considered vital for the Fund to take effective and rapid steps to provide help to refugees whose situation is particularly precarious, and to give support to the receiving countries. Messages along these lines have already been forwarded to the Government of "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and to the Albanian authorities.
The Council of Europe Social Development Fund, established in 1956, is a multilateral development bank whose vocation is to contribute towards building a more humanitarian Europe. As a key instrument of the Council of Europe solidarity policy, the Fund finances social projects by making the funds it raises available for them in conditions that reflect the quality of its rating. It thus grants loans to its member states, to financial institutions and to local authorities for the financing of projects in the sectors defined in its Articles of Agreement. The Fund's priority action consists in responding to emergency situations (aid to refugees and migrants, aid to regions affected by natural disasters, etc.). The Fund also contributes to financing projects aimed at ensuring the sustainable well-being of the beneficiaries: social housing, rehabilitation of run-down urban areas, protection of the environment, education, health and job creation in small and medium sized businesses. The Fund currently has 34 member states, including "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".
Giovanni Mangion, Council of Europe Press Service
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