In view of the continued impact of the crisis and the current 5.6 million Syrian refugees, the Trust Fund Board is confirming its commitment to continue the support to Syrian refugees and their host communities. With this new package, the overall value of EU regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis so far mobilised, reaches €1.6 billion. Currently 55 projects have been contracted.
EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn commented: "These new projects will facilitate access to education and basic health care services for the most vulnerable people, provide livelihood opportunities and strengthen mother and child care services. The EU is committed and determined to assist the people in need and will continue to support our partner countries providing vital help to refugees."
The new €122 million aid package includes the following actions:
- €83 million for access to education and basic health care, to support livelihoods through cultural heritage development, and to provide higher education opportunities to Syrian refugees and vulnerable communities in Jordan;
- €27 million to provide livelihood opportunities in the fields of agricultural development and through micro-loans, as well as social protection and higher education to Syrian refugees and vulnerable communities in Turkey;
- €9.5 million to strengthen mother and child critical health care services, as well as support to livelihoods through cultural heritage development in Iraq.
At the board meeting Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Estonia, have made new pledges for a total of €28.4 million.The Commission pledged already at least €220 million to the Trust Fund in 2019 in line with its pledge from the April 2018 Brussels conference on the future of Syria and the region.
The assistance package was adopted by the EU Trust Fund's Board, which brings together the European Commission, EU Member States, members of the European Parliament and representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the World Bank.
Since its establishment in December 2014, an increasing share of the EU's support to help Syrian refugees and support Syria's neighbouring countries cope with the refugee crisis is provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis. The Trust Fund reinforces an integrated EU aid response to the crisis and primarily addresses longer-term resilience and early recovery needs of Syrian refugees, host communities and their administrations in neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The Fund also underpins the EU Compacts agreed with Jordan and Lebanon to better assist them in the protracted refugee crisis. With the new package adopted now, the Fund has delivered a total of €522 million for Lebanon, more than €500 million for Turkey and more than €300 million for Jordan, in 4 years of operations, much more than initially foreseen.
Overall, €1.6 billion has been mobilised and pledged from the EU budget and contributions of 22 EU Member States and Turkey. Almost all of this has now been adopted by the Board and turned around to finance concrete projects helping refugees and host countries alike.
The Trust Fund's programmes support basic education and child protection for refugees, training and higher education, better access to healthcare, improved water and waste-water infrastructure, as well as support to resilience, women empowerment and fighting gender based violence, economic opportunities and social stability. The scope of the Fund includes support to internally displaced persons in Iraq and support in the Western Balkans to non-EU countries affected by the refugee crisis.
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