Economy

EU disburses over €2.2B to support refugees in Turkey

European Commission reports 'good progress' in implementation of refugee support program in Turkey

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 17.05.2019
EU disburses over €2.2B to support refugees in Turkey

ANKARA

The EU has disbursed €2.22 billion (around $2.48 billion) to date for helping refugees in Turkey, under a 2016 agreement with Ankara, the European Commission announced Friday.

"Out of the €6 billion, some €4.2 billion has been allocated, of which €3.45 billion has been contracted and €2.22 billion disbursed to date," the commission said in a meeting of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey held in Brussels.

The meeting was chaired by the EU Commission and brought together representatives of member states and Turkey.

In March 2016, EU and Turkey reached an agreement to take stricter measures against human smugglers and discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea, and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, with the EU giving a €6-billion ($6.8 billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees hosted in the country.

Turkey had earlier complained that the EU failed to deliver the promised aid in a timely manner.

The commission also reported "good progress" in the implementation of the refugee support program.

"More than 80 projects to date provide vital assistance in the areas of education, health, protection and socio-economic support, and more projects are in the pipeline," said Johannes Hahn, commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

The bloc remains committed to continue its support to refugees and host communities in Turkey, addressing current needs and increasing resilience and self-reliance for the longer term, he added.

Christos Stylianides, commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, also said that the EU, in line with its commitment, continues supporting refugees based in Turkey.

The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the EU Council’s call for additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The facility mainly focuses on humanitarian assistance, education, health, municipal infrastructure, and socioeconomic support.

Turkey currently hosts almost 4 million registered refugees -- out of which nearly 3.6 million are Syrians.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

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