The EU Celebrates The New School Year Opening For Turkish And Syrian Children

The EU Celebrates The New School Year Opening For Turkish And Syrian Children

Fri, 14.09.2018 - 09:56


The EU supports Turkey's efforts to provide all refugee children with education and celebrates the opening of the new school year in Turkey. The EU highlights this support by announcing that the successful PICTES project will continue for three more academic years, with additional €400M and progress on the construction of 215 schools across Turkey.

In Turkey, there are over one million Syrian children of school age (5-17 years). Ensuring that they all can have access to good quality education is a priority to prevent a lost generation. Their enrolment in the Turkish education system is an opportunity to support integration. In order to achieve these goals the EU is continuing its support under the €6 billion package under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. The first action under the second €3 billion is announced for education: it will focus on outreach and increasing quality of formal education for students, extending Turkish language training to parents, and continuing to improve the examination system and foster social cohesion. With an additional €400M the new assistance will cover three more academic years until 2021.


The EU is also financing the construction of 215 schools across Turkey to respond to the increased population in provinces affected by the Syrian refugee influx. Turkish and Syrian children will benefit from these schools to build a better future for them. Overall, the EU has earmarked a total of €475 million to enhance education infrastructure for Syrian and Turkish children in host communities through a €150 million project implemented by the World Bank, as well as two complementary projects implemented by KfW Development Bank for a value of €325 million.


The Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger said on the occasion: "It is great to see how quickly we are progressing with the projects under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. After announcing the second package for PICTES of €400 million, construction of the schools shows our commitment to support Turkey in response to the refugee crisis. Our job - together with our Turkish counterparts and implementing partners such as World Bank and KfW - is to prevent a lost generation and provide education to Syrian children so they can rebuild their lives and their country in the future."









The Facility for Refugees in Turkey


The European Union has been supporting Turkey in response to the refugee crisis since 2011. Initial support was in the form of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). Other EU financial instruments for medium and long-term support were added later, responding to the protracted nature of the crisis. In January 2016, this support was substantially scaled up with the entry into force of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.

Through the Facility, €3 billion has been contracted to assist both refugees and host communities in Turkey, by providing assistance in key areas such as education, health, infrastructure, socio-economic development and migration management. Under the €3 billion support, 72 projects are on-going and more than €1.9 billion has been disbursed.

This funding comes on top of around €350 million which had been already allocated for refugee support in Turkey since the beginning of the crisis, and on top of bilateral aid provided by EU Member States.


EU support to the Turkish national education system

In Turkey, there are over 1 million Syrian children of school age (5-17 years). In the 2017-2018 academic year, 603,929 Syrian children went to school, which was a significant increase over previous years.

The EU supports MoNE's related efforts through the construction of schools and provision of operational support, as in the case of the €300 million direct grant to MoNE (PICTES), or other initiatives in the field of education with partners such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and international NGOs, such as Concern Worldwide, DAAD and SPARK. All these efforts are complementary parts of over €899 million dedicated to education under the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey.

The EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is also making a significant contribution to school attendance of refugees by supporting UNICEF’s “Conditional Cash Transfer for Education” (CCTE) program, a project that provides vulnerable families a bi-monthly cash grant for every child they send to school regularly. Over 360 000 children have already benefitted from this project. In addition, children which have been unable to attend formal schooling in the past years can now also benefit from a Non-Formal Education project managed by UNICEF which provides specialised classes in Turkish language and other subjects.  By providing access to such programmes, the chances of refugee children continuing their education in Formal and non-formal education  outlets and integrating successfully, socially and economically, in the host community increases significantly.


For more information please contact:

İlhan GÜLTEKİN - Programme Manager for Infrastructure, Facility for Refugees in Turkey  / T +90 312 459 87 00


Jochen SCHMIDT - Programme Manager for Education, Facility for Refugees in Turkey / T +90 312 459 87 00


For press inquiries:

Miray AKDAĞ - Press Officer for the Delegation of the European Union in Turkey    

M +90 532 624 93 56 / T +90 312 459 88 77