A few days before the 24th June Turkish general election, the tenth Steering Committee of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey met yesterday in Brussels. At this occasion, members of this structure which has been set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call for significant additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey and which brings together representatives of EU Member States and Turkey – discussed the strategic orientation for the second tranche of 3 billion euros as part of the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, as well as the implementation progress of projects on the ground and their valuable impact on improving Syrian refugees’ lives and host communities in Turkey.
According to Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, while the EU-Turkey agreement’s social and political impact keeps on being deeply criticized by many civil organizations, «Turkey is making a remarkable effort to host more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees» (which 220.000 are hosted in camps run by the Turkish authorities, the others living outside the camps, «under very challenging circumstances with depleted ressources», according to ECHO). In response, «the EU needs to act swiftly to ensure that funds under the second tranche can be mobilised quickly». A matter of high importance for Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, who added that «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».
Photo : Kahramanmaraş Refugee Camp / Yasin Akgül / © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service
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