The European Commission (EC) said on July 28 that it was bringing to more than two billion euro the total amount granted to the facility for refugees in Turkey, to finance actions in the field of health, education, socio-economic support as well as humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees.
The EC said that it had adopted a measure for funding worth more than 1.4 billion euro in support of refugees who fled from the war in Syria and to assist their host communities.
“With this accelerated implementation under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the Commission is delivering on the commitment from the EU-Turkey Statement of March 18 and has since then already mobilised 2.155 billion euro out of foreseen three billion euro for this and next year,” the EC said.
A “Special Measure” worth 1.415 billion euro has been adopted to support refugees in Turkey in the areas of education, health, municipal and social infrastructure, and socio-economic support. In addition, a further 79 million euro of previously allocated funds for humanitarian aid projects have been contracted to a number of partners, including UN agencies, international organisations as well as international NGOs.
The EC said that the “Special Measure” adopted on July 28 provides for three “strands” of funding to address urgent needs of refugees and host communities in Turkey in the priority areas of education, health, municipal infrastructure and socio-economic support in the 10 most affected provinces.
The first strand provides for direct grants with the Turkish ministries for education and health to cover operational costs of and access to education and healthcare services for Syrian refugees and their children.
The second strand provides EU financial support for education and health-related infrastructure. It also provides for funding for municipal infrastructure in host communities and socio-economic support for Syrian refugees in Turkey. The second strand will be implemented through delegation agreements with International Financial Institutions.
The third strand of the measure includes an allocation to top-up the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, allowing it to continue funding bottom-up assistance to refugees and host communities. The Measure also includes an allocation to allow international financial institutions to build a project pipeline for potential future projects under the facility.
Adoption of the measure will enable refugee needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. The Special Measure comes on top of a total of 740 million euro that has been allocated for humanitarian and non-humanitarian assistance to date, making the total committed under the facility 2.155 billion euro, the EC said.
The EU already has humanitarian aid projects up and running helping refugees in Turkey, the EC said.
The contracting of the latest set of projects worth 79 million euro brings the total humanitarian assistance delivered under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey in 2016 up to 169 million euro. The funding will be channelled to humanitarian organisations in partnership with various local non-government organisations and in coordination with government service departments.
EU funded humanitarian projects in Turkey cover the most basic needs of vulnerable refugees and migrants, the EC said.
They include support for access to primary health care, food and assistance for people wounded in war. Projects with a focus on education will cover school transport and access to non-formal education. Particular emphasis is put on ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable, in particular children, the EC said.
(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)