The Committee discussed the strategic orientation for the second tranche of €3 billion as part of the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, as well as the implementation progress of projects on the ground and their valuable impact on improving Syrian refugees' lives and host communities in Turkey.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "The EU is continuing to show its commitment in supporting the Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey, with projects in full implementation mode. Turkey is making a remarkable effort to host more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees; the EU needs to act swiftly to ensure that funds under the second tranche can be mobilised quickly."
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “The EU continues to make a difference in the daily lives of many refugees in Turkey. With 72 projects underway, we remain committed to help Turkey host the largest refugee population in the world. Our humanitarian funding is helping the most vulnerable refugees meet their basic needs, access health services and education, and receive protection.”
Chaired by the European Commission, the Steering Committee brings together representatives of EU Member States and Turkey in an advisory capacity. Priority areas of interest were discussed as well as the importance of finding a sustainable transition mechanism providing continuing support to the refugees in need in the future. An update on the results achieved so far was presented by the Commission to the Committee, highlighting findings in the areas of humanitarian assistance, education, health and socio-economic support. The Committee also discussed the updated needs assessment which will be finalised at the end June, and which will be used as a basis for programming of the second €3 billion tranche.
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 budget of €3 billion for 2016-2017 for projects on humanitarian and non-humanitarian actions. 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, 72 projects have been contracted for €3 billion, out of which almost EUR 2 billion were already disbursed at the end of May 2018, with the remainder to be disbursed in the course of implementation of projects until mid-2021.
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 progress report on the implementation of the European Agenda of migration was published on 16 May 2018.
As part of the EU-Turkey March 2016 Statement, the EU committed to contribute €3 billion more once the first €3 billion were used and implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement continued satisfactorily. In order to ensure un-interrupted support for Refugees, the Commission proposed in March 2018 to mobilise funding from both the EU budget and Member States' national budgets, starting with new EU contributions in 2018 already.
For More Information
- Website: The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey
- EU-Turkey Cooperation: A EUR 3 billion Refugee Facility for Turkey
- FACTSHEET: The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey
- FACTSHEET: Humanitarian support to refugees in Turkey
- Progress Report on the Implementation of the European Agenda of Migration
- Second Annual Report for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey
- Facility for Refugees in Turkey – Commission Reports on Progress in Ninth Steering Committee