In late 2015, BNP Paribas announced the launch of a €5 million Support Plan for the care of refugees in Europe. Given the ongoing developments in the situation since then, the Bank has now decided to extend the initiative, allocating an extra €3 million to the programme in 2017 and 2018.
BNP Paribas is thus increasing its overall contribution to refugee care to €8 million over the three-year period 2015-2018
Thanks to the work of the BNP Paribas Foundation and the involvement of Group staff across Europe, BNP Paribas has provided assistance to some 62,000 refugees in nine European countries. In Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain, refugees have received support in three main areas of need – emergency aid, education and social integration – from joint actions by BNP Paribas and its partner organisations.
In 2016, the programme worked with some 30 local charity bodies in various European countries, plus three major international humanitarian organisations – UNHCR (The United Nations High Commission for Refugees), Caritas and Samusocial.
In Italy, the Centro Astalli has arranged the distribution of over 27,000 meals for close to 2,500 people. In Greece, the Group has been working with the UNHCR to distribute blankets, hygiene kits and other basic necessities. In France, the Paris arm of Samusocial runs an initiative called Elan, which arranges accommodation for refugees with individual families.
The BNP Paribas refugee assistance plan is one of a number of actions undertaken since 2013 when the Group set up a Rescue & Recover Fund to provide humanitarian aid to people struck by disasters or facing emergencies. Over the past three years, the Fund has run three major donation campaigns, which have raised over €520,000 to support refugee assistance projects undertaken by three partner organisations – CARE, the French Red Cross, and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
The Group has always taken its civic responsibilities seriously and has been closely involved in social and community actions, mainly through the BNP Paribas Foundation, which has for 30 years been helping to combat all forms of social exclusion. In 2016, the Foundation contributed a total of €4.3 million to social work and community initiatives.