EU to continue supporting states hosting Syrians: Envoy

EU to prolong Turkey's project aiming to promote access of Syrian children to education, says delegation head in Turkey

Ismihan Ozguven and Eren Bozkurt   | 21.04.2021
EU to continue supporting states hosting Syrians: Envoy

ADANA, Turkey

EU leaders have decided to continue providing financial support to countries affected the most by the Syrian civil war, the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey said on Wednesday.

"The heads of states and governments of the EU have decided to continue the financial support to Turkey and other countries in the region, Lebanon and Jordan, the most affected by the Syrian refugee crisis," Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut said in a meeting with Zeydan Karalar, mayor of the southern Adana province.

"We are expecting a proposal by the commission on how to continue this assistance in the coming weeks," he added.

Meyer-Landrut said that they were meanwhile evaluating what they had previously done well under existing programs and what could be improved, as well as the needs and demands that have emerged.

He added that the bloc would extend into next year Turkey's project of Promoting Integration of Syrian Kids into the Turkish Education System (PIKTES).

"The EU will extend the duration of Turkey's PIKTES project into next year in order to support children under temporary protection in accessing education," he noted.

For his part, Karalar said Adana hosted the fifth-most refugees among Turkey's 81 provinces.

"There are nearly 400,000 refugees, guests in Adana," he said, which increased the province's population by 22%.

Karalar said expenses also increased in line with the population and hoped for a continuation of EU support.

Turkey hosts over 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any country in the world.

EU supports teachers of PIKTES

Later in the day, Meyer-Landrut met the team carrying out the PIKTES project in the province.

During the meeting, he said they will support teachers through the project, as well as infrastructure investments for building and renovating schools.

The ambassador noted that €600 million (over $721 million) are being considered for 400 schools in Turkey, including 39 in Adana province, as part of the extension of the project for another year.

Some 700,000 Syrian children are registered in the education system in Turkey, according to Meyer-Landrut.

*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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