The EU is delivering on its commitment to speed up the implementation of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey bringing the total amount mobilised to more than €2 billion to finance actions in the field of health, education, socio-economic support as well as humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees.
Today, the European Commission adopted the Special Measure worth over €1.4 billion in support of refugees who fled from the war in Syria and to assist their host communities. With this accelerated implementation under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the Commission is delivering on the commitment from the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March and has since then already mobilised €2.155 billion out of foreseen €3 billion for this and next year.
A Special Measure worth €1.415 billion has been adopted to support refugees in Turkey in the areas of education, health, municipal and social infrastructure, and socio-economic support. In addition, a further €79 million of previously allocated funds for humanitarian aid projects have been contracted to a number of partners, including UN agencies, international organisations as well as international NGOs.
The Special Measure adopted today provides for three strands of funding to address urgent needs of refugees and host communities in Turkey in the priority areas of education, health, municipal infrastructure and socio-economic support in the ten most affected provinces. The first strand provides for direct grants with the Turkish ministries for education and health to cover operational costs of and access to education and healthcare services for Syrian refugees and their children.
The second strand provides EU financial support for education and health-related infrastructure. It also provides for funding for municipal infrastructure in host communities and socio-economic support for Syrian refugees in Turkey. The second strand will be implemented through delegation agreements with International Financial Institutions.
The third strand of the Measure includes an allocation to top-up the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, allowing it to continue funding bottom-up assistance to refugees and host communities. The Measure also includes an allocation to allow International Financial Institutions to build a project pipeline for potential future projects under the Facility.
Adoption of the measure will enable refugee needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. The Special Measure comes on top of a total of €740 million that has been allocated for humanitarian and non-humanitarian assistance to date, making the total committed under the Facility €2.155 billion.
Humanitarian aid projects
The EU already has humanitarian aid projects up and running helping refugees in Turkey. The contracting of the latest set of projects worth €79 million brings the total humanitarian assistance delivered under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey in 2016 up to €169 million. The funding will be channelled to humanitarian organisations in partnership with various local non-government organisations and in coordination with government service departments.
EU funded humanitarian projects in Turkey cover the most basic needs of vulnerable refugees and migrants. They include support for access to primary health care, food and assistance for people wounded in war. Projects with a focus on education will cover school transport and access to non-formal education. Particular emphasis is put on ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable, in particular children.
The Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in response to the European Council's call for significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey.
The Facility has a budget of €3 billion for 2016-2017. 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.
Of the overall €3 billion, €2.155 billion has been allocated in total to date, for both humanitarian and non-humanitarian assistance. Of the €2.155 billion allocated, €229 million has been contracted as of today. Of these €229 million contracted, €105 million has been disbursed so far.
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. Funding under the Facility supports refugees in the country, it is therefore not a funding for Turkey. 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.