Today, the Steering Committee of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey met in Brussels for the fifth time gathering the European Commission, EU Member State representatives, and representatives of Turkey. Chairing the Committee, the European Commission reported on progress made to date including the signature of contracts worth over €200 million for the construction and equipping of school buildings for refugee children and their host communities, as well as on the increasing humanitarian support to the refugees through the Emergency Social Safety Net.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "The European Union continues to deliver on its commitment to provide massive support to Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey. Most recently, contracts worth over €200 million were signed to boost education infrastructure, build and equip schools and to facilitate access to schooling for tens of thousands of refugee children. The European Union thus provides the most vulnerable refugees with the chance for a better life in Turkey."
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: "The EU humanitarian strategy under the Facility has had substantial impact on the ground in 2016. In one year, an unprecedented amount of €517 million of humanitarian assistance for the refugees in Turkey has been contracted, including the biggest ever EU humanitarian assistance project – the Emergency Social Safety Net – for an initial amount of €348 million. I am both happy and proud to have been able to witness tangible results of the Facility, providing much needed life-saving assistance to those that need it the most."
Solid progress in implementation
During today's meeting, the European Commission reported to the Facility Steering Committee on the progress achieved on the disbursement of support to refugees, which has accelerated during the past months. Of the overall €3 billion, half has been contracted in less than ten months. Contracts have been signed for 37 projects worth €1.45 billion, out of which €748 million has been disbursed.
The participants welcomed the solid progress made to date, including the signature of long-term assistance contracts worth a total of €200 million for construction and equipping of school buildings for refugee children and their host communities in Turkey.
Regarding humanitarian assistance, the roll-out of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) is underway, with ongoing distribution of debit cards to the most vulnerable refugees. Additional humanitarian projects continue to be implemented in the field of health, protection and education.
The European Commission also gave a presentation on progress made in developing the Facility Results Framework and a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system that should become operational in the course of this year. It also presented the communications strategy, which sets out a coherent approach to communication on Facility implementation.
The Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in response to the European Council's call for significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey.
The Facility has a budget of €3 billion for 2016-2017. This is made up of €1 billion from the EU budget, and €2 billion from the EU Member States. All Member States have sent in their contribution certificates for the €2 billion they pledged.
So far, 37 projects have been contracted worth €1.45 billion, out of which €748 million has been disbursed. The total allocated for implementation under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey on humanitarian and non-humanitarian actions now stands at €2.2 billion.
The Facility provides a joint coordination mechanism, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. Funding under the Facility supports refugees in the country, it is therefore not a funding for Turkey. 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.
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