BNP Paribas continues its commitment in favour of integrating refugees in Europe
- After an initial reaffirmation of its commitment first made in 2015, BNP Paribas is strengthening its support of inclusion and integration of refugees in Europe through additional funding of €4.5 million through to end-2021.
- BNP Paribas will now concentrate its efforts, together with partner organisations, on supporting the social and professional integration of young refugees, notably through improved language learning in host countries.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 65.6 million persons were displaced in 2016. Among these were 22.5 million refugees, of whom more than half were under the age of 18.
In 2015, BNP Paribas put in place a 2-year €5 million programme to support organisations helping refugees in nine European countries: Austria, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland.
Given the ongoing situation, BNP Paribas decided in 2017 to extend its commitment by allocating an additional €3 million to this programme until 2018. The Group has strengthened its efforts around three primary themes: emergency assistance; education; and social and professional integration.
Between 2015 and 2017, the Group contributed to helping more than 110,000 refugees in these nine European countries, together with around thirty partner organisations operating programmes devoted to helping refugees, and also by relying on its European teams and Foundation.
On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June 2018, BNP Paribas announces it is continuing its commitment by granting an additional €4.5 million through 2021. This brings its total commitment to more than €12 million. BNP Paribas, which has made Youth a primary focal point of its Company Engagement, aims to concentrate its funding on supporting local organisations working in France and elsewhere in Europe that are enabling the integration of young refugees. The programme will notably contribute to refugees’ accommodation and language learning in the countries where they live so as to improve arrival conditions and enable them to benefit from a cultural orientation as well as social and professional integration.
Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, BNP Paribas CEO, declared that, “The refugee drama is a major human catastrophe that is mobilising many organisations and volunteers throughout Europe who are dealing with emergency conditions and providing refugees with the possibility of shelter, work, and a future. BNP Paribas is at their side, not only with financial assistance, but also with help finding employment and, for some, with recruitment. In today’s difficult context, we are committed to pursuing these efforts.”
“The welcoming of asylum seekers reflects universal values and, in particular, European values. European countries, including France—the country of human rights—must show their solidarity and a commitment to playing their part in this process. 'Welcoming' also means ensuring a better future for these people,” said Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, CNRS Research Director, PhD in Political Science, professor at Sciences Po, specialist in international migration, and member of the BNP Paribas Foundation Executive Committee.
Beyond this support programme, BNP Paribas supports numerous efforts to assist refugees in Europe, notably through the support of more than 20 social-business structures helping young refugees integrate the labour market.
BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international presence, in 73 countries, with more than 196,000 employees, 149 000 of which are based in Europe. The Group hold key positions in its three major areas of activity: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services, whose network of retail banks are clustered in its Retail Banking & Services, and Corporate & Institutional Banking, centred on Corporate and Institutional clients. The Group guides all its clients—households, organisations, businesspersons, small/medium-sized businesses, large corporations and institutions—in helping them realise their plans by offering them financing, investment, savings, and asset protection services. In Europe, the Group has 4 domestic markets—Belgium, France, Italy, and Luxembourg—and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leading expert for households in Europe. BNP Paribas has also developed its integrating retail banking model in the Mediterranean basin countries, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and has a sizeable network in the western United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas benefits from leadership in Europe, a solid presence in the Americas, as well as a solid activity and strong growth in Asia/Pacific.