Refugee relief is a crucial global development challenge and, unfortunately, it is very unlikely to disappear any time soon. At a conference organised by the EIB Institute, President of Malteser International Europe, Douglas Graf von Saurma-Jeltsch, presented the Order of Malta, the world’s oldest humanitarian organisation, which has been providing relief for more than 900 years from rescuing Christian pilgrims to providing emergency relief in humanitarian catastrophes such as natural disasters and refugee crises in Syria and Colombia.
Being a Sovereign Order, now based in Rome, it is able to respond rapidly to crises and disasters thanks to its network of full diplomatic relations with 108 countries -most recently with Germany- as well as with European and international organisations.
Today, the Order of Malta through its worldwide humanitarian relief agency, Malteser International, is active in 120 countries caring for people in need through its medical, social and humanitarian works. Day-to-day, its broad spectrum of social projects provides constant support for forgotten or excluded members of society.
Malteser International is one of the NGOs with which the Institute has been working closely to channel donations from EIB Group staff and the Bank itself following humanitarian catastrophes such as in 2018 when the EIB donated EUR 250 000 to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Colombia caused by the massive refugee influx from Venezuela. In 2019, Malteser International was also one of the nine NGOs to benefit from an EIB donation of EUR 261 000 for the victims of the Cyclone IDAI, which hit southern Africa and, in particular, Mozambique.