European Commission - Press release
The European Commission reported on the impressive progress in the implementation of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, during the 8th meeting of the Steering Committee of the Facility, that took place in Brussels yesterday.
Over one million refugees have now been reached with the EU's flagship humanitarian programme, the 'Emergency Social Safety Net', and multiple new contracts were signed for €115 million in the areas of humanitarian aid, socio-economic support and municipal infrastructure. Of the overall €3 billion budget, €2.9 billion has been allocated. Of this, contracts have been signed for 55 projects worth over €1.78 billion, out of which €908 million have already been disbursed.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "With the recent signatures of contracts worth over €100 million, the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey continues to deliver its commitment in supporting refugees and host communities. A great example of this, are the Technical and Vocational programs organised with the Ministry of National Education, which aim at increasing employability by facilitating entry into the labour market and thus supporting the integration of refugees in their host communities."
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: "We have recently reached a milestone of one million most vulnerable refugees benefitting from our main EU humanitarian programme. We have also signed five new agreements with humanitarian organisations to provide protection and health services. It is clear that the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey is delivering and having a positive impact on the lives of the people who need our assistance."
New contracts signed in development support
The European Commission chaired the meeting and reported on progress made. Under the non-humanitarian leg of the EU Facility, a €50 million contract with the Council of Europe Bank (CEB) was signed yesterday, which will provide a 300 bed hospital in Kilis. In addition, the Commission signed a €20 million contract yesterday with KfW in the area of socio-economic support, which aims to renew and modernise existing workshops of the Technical and Vocational training program (TVET) run by the Ministry of National Education. A contract addendum was signed with KfW for €45 million coming on top of a contract of €50 million signed in November 2016 in the area of education infrastructure with the construction of 15 schools. The contract foresees the construction of 50 additional prefabricated schools.
Humanitarian projects: current situation
Under the humanitarian leg of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the Emergency Social Safety Net programme has reached over one million refugees so far. The occasion was marked by a ceremony in Ankara on 17 October where Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announced this milestone. The EU aims to reach 1.3 million refugees with this programme. Furthermore, five contracts for a total of €45.2 million have been signed under the 2017 Humanitarian Implementation Plan. Three agreements were signed in the area of protection, namely a €20 million agreement with UNHCR, a €7 million agreement with UNFPA and a €2.7 million agreement with Welthungerhilfe. Furthermore, a €3 million agreement has been signed with Relief International to improve access to mental health and psychosocial support services for refugees. A €12.5 million agreement has been signed with UNFPA to support access to sexual reproductive health and gender based violence services for the most vulnerable refugees.
The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council's call for significant additional funding to support refugees in Turkey.
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. The support seeks to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey as part of the EU's comprehensive approach to address the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU.
The Steering Committee brings together the European Commission, representatives of EU Member States and representatives of Turkey. Members of the European Parliament also participate as observers.