Today, the sixth Steering Committee meeting of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey took place in Brussels to report on the progress made to date. They discussed the latest projects to support refugees, in particular the recently launched €34 million Conditional Cash Transfer for Education project with UNICEF and a €5 million contract with the NGO Spark which will increase participation and equal access to higher education of vulnerable Syrian youth. Furthermore, seven new humanitarian projects worth €41.6 million* have also been launched focusing on protection and access to health.
So far out of the overall €3 billion allocated to the Facility, more than half has already been contracted in less than a year. Contracts have been signed for 46 projects in total worth over €1.5 billion, out of which €777 million has been disbursed so far to support refugees.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "The European Union continues to be a pillar of support for the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Turkey, providing them with essential services such as access to education and health care. This equips them with the necessary tools to play an active role in Turkey's society and demonstrates our full commitment in helping refugees and their host communities in Turkey."
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: "Our humanitarian aid programmes are showing encouraging results. As of March more than 400 000 refugees have now benefitted from the EU's flagship cash assistance programme. We will continue this joint effort with our Turkish partners, and the humanitarian agencies, so that more refugee families in Turkey can receive protection and assistance in order to meet their basic needs"
Today's meeting brought together the European Commission, EU Member States representatives, and representatives of Turkey. The European Commission chaired the meeting and participants welcomed the solid progress made to date.
Steady progress in implementation
Through humanitarian assistance, a €34 million contract was recently signed with UNICEF on Conditional Cash Transfer for Education. This project will build on the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme, providing families with targeted cash transfers to encourage school enrolment and attendance of the most vulnerable refugee children. In addition, four projects have been signed with a total value of €25 million that will focus on primary health care services and the provision of specialised services. Three projects have also been signed for a total value of €16.65 million that will focus on the protection needs of vulnerable refugees.
Under the longer term assistance, a €5 million education contract has been signed with the NGO Spark. It will be implemented by the EU Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis and will provide 484 Syrian students with full scholarships on Bachelor level, including transport and subsistence allowance.
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 refugees in Turkey.
It 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, 46 projects have been contracted for more than €1.5 billion, out of which €777 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. 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. The first annual report on the Facility was published on 2 March 2017.
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* Figure updated at 15h50.