The EU, together with the Turkish Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and the World Bank (WB), have today launched the construction of 56 schools across Turkey with a ground-breaking ceremony in Adana. The launch is part of a project aiming to address the need for further school space for Syrian and Turkish students in regions with high density of refugees. Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Turkey - Minister Counsellor Simona Gatti, Adana Governor Mahmut Demirtaş and WB Acting Country Director Tamara Sulukhia, opened the ceremony attended by some 200 guests.
The aim of this project implemented by the World Bank in the field of education infrastructure is to facilitate the access of 40,000 Syrian and Turkish students to 1,320 new classrooms in 56 schools across Turkey. The project is developed in close partnership with MoNE, sharing the crucial goal of ensuring that Syrian children under the age of 18 have access to quality education in 12 provinces across Turkey while supporting the affected Turkish communities to successfully absorb the influx of refugees and ensure social cohesion.
Overall, the EU has earmarked a total of €475 million to enhance education infrastructure for Syrian and Turkish children in host communities, to be developed through this €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.
Altogether a total of 215 schools will be built under these three infrastructure projects, of which 56 schools are going to be covered by the project presented today. The ground-breaking ceremony allows already to proceed with the first 6 schools in Adana province.
The Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Turkey, Minister Counsellor Simona Gatti, said on the occasion: "It is great to see how quickly we are progressing with the projects under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. The projects providing education infrastructure make us proud as they will enable some 150,000 Syrian and Turkish students to complete their education in well-equipped facilities and therefore support the Turkish authorities' enormous efforts in facilitating Syrian children's access to education."
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 have 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 950,000 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, and their enrolment into the Turkish education system is an opportunity to support overall integration efforts. 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.
For more information please contact:
İlhan GÜLTEKİN - Programme Manager for Infrastructure, Facility for Refugees in Turkey
email@example.com / T +90 312 459 87 00
For press inquiries:
Miray Akdağ – Press Officer for the Delegation of the EU to Turkey
M +90 532 624 93 56 / T +90 312 459 88 77