EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey steering committee meets

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey steering committee meets
European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn

The steering committee for the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey has met to discuss how a second tranche of funding worth €3bn will be allocated.

The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was established in 2015, as part of the EU-Turkey deal which saw unsuccessful asylum applicants returned from the EU to Turkey in exchange for Syrian refugees. One element of this deal was the allocation of additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey, with a total budget of €3bn.

€1bn in funding was provided from the EU budget, with an additional €2bn from member states, all of which has been collected. Some 72 projects have already been contracted to receive funding, and €2bn of the total fund has already been disbursed as of May 2018. The final third of the funding will be disbursed in the course of implementing projects until 2021.

In March 2016, the EU committed a second tranche of funding, also worth €3bn, to projects aimed at improving the lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey, and the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey steering committee has met to discuss how this second tranche might be most effectively allocated.

What are the steering committee’s priorities?

Following its meeting, the steering committee updated its needs assessment, which will be finalised at the end of this month and will then form the basis of further allocations of funding. A particular priority area is the creation of a transition mechanism which can continue to support refugees in need following the conclusion of the current facility.

Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, said that the funding must be urgently allocated in order to deliver the greatest impact for refugees. He explained: “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.”

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