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European Commission - Press release

EU steps up assistance for Syrian refugees in Turkey

Brussels, 09 December 2014

New funding announced by HRVP Mogherini and Commissioner Stylianides as they meet with refugees in Turkey

With growing numbers of refugees from Syria seeking sanctuary in Turkey, the European Commission is stepping up its assistance with an additional €10 million in humanitarian funding both inside Turkey and inside Syria via cross-border assistance from Turkey. The funding was announced as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides visited a camp for Syrian refugees in the border town of Kilis, south-central Turkey, and attended a distribution of EU-funded aid for refugees.

HRVP Federica Mogherini stated: "Today, we are stepping up our assistance to the people of Syria and to the Turkish communities hosting Syrian refugees. Europe stands firmly with Turkey and is determined to play its role to the full to bring a lasting political solution to this regional crisis and humanitarian tragedy".

"Let me express my deep appreciation for the immense efforts by Turkey and its people, who have shown their huge capacity for solidarity with the people of Syria in their greatest time of need," said Commissioner Stylianides. "Europe stands firmly with Turkey. We remain fully committed to our ongoing support to the refugee population in the country, which is why we are stepping up our assistance".

The new humanitarian funding from the European Commission will help refugees living outside camps with cash assistance programmes, material assistance for newcomers and health care.


Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the European Commission has contributed €187.5million to support refugees in Turkey.The bulk of the resources allocated early on in the crisis have helped refugees inside camps. In 2014 the focus has primarily been to support refugees living outside camps, in particular new arrivals, as the large majority of the refugee population in 2014 live outside of camps.

The Commission has humanitarian experts in Turkey who monitor the impact of the Syrian crisis. Earlier in 2014, this presence enabled the Commission to promptly assist Turkey when more than 200 000 Syrian refugees fleeing from Kobane crossed its border, as well as when a new wave of Iraqi refugees fled to Turkey from the violence in their country.

Commission funding also provides basic education to young Syrian children. EU instruments, notably the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance through its (IPA) 2014 annual action programme for Turkey, is providing €9.9 million for access to education for Syrian refugees. 

An additional IPA programme for Turkey with a funding of €40 million is currently being developed, aimed at enhancing access to services, strengthening resilience of host communities as well as facilitating integration of refugees. It will also be supporting direct capacity-building for the Turkish Government in migration management. The programme will be implemented by some UN agencies in the medium term (years 2016/2017) whereas in shorter term  (2015) EU's Instrument for Stability (IcSP) will address  similar issues with a funding of €17 million overall, and with the involvement of the UN Development Programme and the International Organisation for Migration.


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