EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: first year report shows solid resultsEU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: first year report shows solid results
European Commission, Press Release
Brussels, 2 March 2017
The European Commission reported on the progress the Facility for Refugees in Turkey has made one year after its launch in March 2016. Since then, the Facility has contracted 39 projects for a total of €1.5 billion – i.e. half of the Facility total budget of €3 billion contracted in less than one year.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "I am proud of the significant results the Facility has achieved during its first year of operation, with the implementation of projects moving at a steady pace. The European Union remains committed to providing support to Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey, including access to basic protection, education and health care. We will continue to stand by the most vulnerable, and in particular children and youth."
Steady progress in humanitarian assistance…
Since the launch of the Facility, 28 humanitarian assistance projects have been implemented by 19 partners covering basic needs, protection, education and health. In September 2016, the European Commission launched the flagship project of the humanitarian component of the Facility - the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) - together with the Turkish authorities and the World Food Programme. It is the EU's largest-ever humanitarian programme, with a budget of €348 million. The roll-out of the ESSN is well underway, with ongoing distribution of debit cards to the most vulnerable refugees. Over 250 000 refugees have already received support through the ESSN programme, with one million of the most vulnerable refugees expected to benefit by the first half of 2017.
… accompanied by tangible results in education, health and socio-economic support
The Facility continues to support longer-term livelihoods, socio-economic and educational perspectives of refugees in Turkey. This support helps children to access primary and secondary education and improve educational infrastructure, including school buildings and learning materials. It also focuses on exposed groups, e.g. by protecting women against sexual and gender based violence and improving access to sexual and reproductive health care.
In September 2016, the European Commission signed direct grants worth €600 million to support Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey in the areas of education and health. The two grants (€300 million for education and for health respectively) provide almost half a million Syrian children with access to education and allow around two million people access to primary healthcare services through the creation of over 500 healthcare facilities, and rehabilitative mental health services for up to one million people. 5 200 Turkish language teachers have already been recruited and 1800 school principals have received training. Additional Facility interventions in the area of education include contracts for a total of €200 million to provide for the construction and equipment of 70 new schools, which benefit 50 000 Syrian children.
The Facility also continued to support a series of bottom-up measures to help refugees in Turkey. In this regard, five projects have been contracted through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, mainly on socio-economic support, education and higher education. An additional package of EU Trust Fund projects is currently under preparation. Further contracts in the area of socio-economic support, municipal infrastructure and health-related infrastructure should be signed during the first half of 2017.
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. It has a total budget of €3 billion for 2016-2017 (€1 billion from the EU budget and €2 billion from EU Member States). All Member States have sent in their contribution certificates for the €2 billion they pledged.
So far, 39 projects totalling €1.5 billion have already been contracted, out of which €750 million has been disbursed. The total allocated for implementation to concrete humanitarian and non-humanitarian projects on the ground now stands at €2.2 billion.
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 the 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.
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