The European Commission adopted a new set of assistance measures worth €1.41 billion, ensuring continued European Union support to refugees and host communities in Turkey. The programs will focus on the areas of health, protection, socio-economic support and municipal infrastructure. The new measures are part of the second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, bringing the total amount already allocated to €5.6 billion out of €6 billion since 2016, with the remaining balance due to be allocated over the summer.
The new assistance measures focus on long-term support and development assistance, as a combination of agreements with partners and relevant Turkish ministries. Contracts should be signed by end-2020 and actions should be completed by mid-2025 at the latest.
A particular feature of this financial allocation is that it aims to ensure the sustainability of facility-funded activities, reflecting the need for sustainable support for refugee inclusion, self-reliance and integration beyond the EU Facility.
Turkey’s geographical position makes it a first reception and transit country for many refugees and migrants. As the result of an unprecedented influx of people seeking refuge, the country currently hosts almost 4 million registered refugees (out of which nearly 3.6 million are Syrians) and is making commendable efforts to provide them with humanitarian aid and development support.
EU assistance is aimed at supporting refugees who have fled violence in their country, in particular those living outside of camps and in vulnerable situations, while supporting also their host communities in providing access to quality education, health, protection and livelihoods, as well as other local services.
The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council's call for significant additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey. It has a total budget of €6 billion divided into two equal tranches of €3 billion each. Out of the operational funds of €6 billion, over €2.35 billion has already been disbursed, €3.5 billion contracted and €5.6 billion allocated, with over 80 projects already rolled out. The support seeks to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey as part of the EU's comprehensive approach to addressing the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU.