(L-R) Claude Meisch, Minister of Education, Children and Youth; Yuriko Backes, Minister of Finance; Werner Hoyer, President of the BEI; Credit: SIP / Luc Deflorenne

On Monday 26 September 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Yuriko Backes, the Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, and the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, inaugurated a new school for refugee children, set up in an EIB building in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.

The European institution has decided to make this building, which is particularly well designed and adapted to accommodate children, available to the Luxembourg State since it housed the EIB crèche until 2020.

Since the beginning of the war and the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the EIB Group has strongly demonstrated its support for Ukraine and its people by providing immediate assistance to the Ukrainian authorities and neighboring countries which have taken in the refugees. More closely, the EIB has decided to support the most vulnerable refugees, children, by facilitating their reception and schooling in Luxembourg.

The new school hosts specialised state reception classes. Some 80 students aged three to twelve, children of Ukrainian refugees and children of applicants for and beneficiaries of international protection (DBI/BPI) are now welcomed there. They are divided into eight classes of basic education which operate in continuous day. The structure put in place also includes a relay house.

The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth has taken possession of the building and will henceforth ensure its operation, within the framework of the schooling programme set up for refugee children residing in the accommodation structures of the National Reception Office (Office national de l'accueil - ONA) of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Minister Meisch congratulated "the EIB for its humanitarian commitment in the context of the Ukrainian crisis by offering to make available to the Ministry of Education, Childhood and Youth, infrastructures to welcome and educate in good conditions the children of Ukrainian refugees and applicants for international protection. The investment in new classrooms is certainly an investment in the integration of these young people and in their future prospects”.

Minister Backes said: “I am very grateful to the EIB for providing this building for the benefit of refugee children from Ukraine and other countries. This initiative is a vibrant testimony of solidarity and is another example of the excellent cooperation between Luxembourg and the EIB. Schooling is one of the most important tools we have to improve the lot of these children who had to flee war and violence in their country.”

EIB President Hoyer commented: “it is important to contribute collectively to the European effort to give a warm and dignified welcome to refugee children and their families from Ukraine, as well as people in danger and fleeing conflict zones. In addition to our reinforced support in the field of education but also our activities on the ground in and around conflict zones, we are very happy to be able to collaborate with the Luxembourg authorities within the framework of this initiative. I am delighted that the EIB can contribute to the national solidarity effort with refugee children from Ukraine and other conflict areas, which is fully in line with European solidarity and values”.