EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: third annual report shows continued vital and tangible support for refugees and their host communities

Refugees UN News

UNHCR/Roger Arnold
Thousands of new Rohingya refugee arrivals cross the border near Anzuman Para village, Palong Khali, Bangladesh.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The third annual report on the implementation of the Facility shows solid results on EU support to refugees and host communities in Turkey, including: monthly transfer to 1.5 million refugees for their basic needs, 5 million primary health care consultations, access to school for 470,000 children.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “The third annual report shows solid results in the implementation of the EU assistance. The EU has fully honoured its commitment to mobilise €6 billion and is working to support and to empower refugees in need. At the same time, we are working to support host communities and Turkish institutions to ensure the sustainability of this assistance beyond the lifespan of the Facility.”

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “The Facility’s third annual report clearly demonstrates the EU’s concrete results in supporting vulnerable refugees in Turkey. EU humanitarian aid helps more than 1.5 million refugees to meet their basic needs and live in dignity. I am proud of our joint achievements and we remain committed to support those in need.”

The implementation of the Facility further accelerated in 2018 and its €6 billion budget has now been fully mobilised. Since the Facility’s launch in March 2016, 84 projects* in the areas of humanitarian assistance, education, healthcare and socio-economic support were contracted and are delivering tangible results on the ground and improving the lives of refugees and host communities in Turkey. Over €2 billion have already been disbursed to date.

Solid achievements in humanitarian assistance

Since the launch of the Facility, 45 humanitarian assistance projects implemented by 19 partners covering basic needs, protection, education and health. The EU’s flagship humanitarian programme, the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) – together with the Turkish authorities and the World Food Programme – has continued to address the needs of vulnerable refugees, with over 1.5 million persons reached through the monthly cash transfer programme. Access to formal education systems has been facilitated by the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme (CCTE), with families of over 470,000 children attending school receiving financial support through the programme.

Tangible results in education, health and socio-economic support

The Facility continues to support longer-term livelihoods, socio-economic and educational perspectives for refugees in Turkey. 26 projects under the development strand have been contracted so far, showing good progress with two contracts completed already. The implementation of the PICTES (Promoting Integration of Syrian Children into Turkish Education System) project, has seen almost 400,000 students participate in Turkish language teaching, 43,000 students received back-up training and 19,000 teachers and administrators trained under the project. The Facility also continued to support interventions in the area of health, with the SIHHAT (Improving the health status of the Syrian population under temporary protection and related services) project ensuring refugees’ access to healthcare services. Over 2,500 medical staff (69% of which are Syrian refugees) have delivered services in 178 Migrant Health Centres.

The work on livelihoods and socio-economic support plays a critical role in the integration of refugees into Turkish society, fostering a much-needed social and economic cohesion. Turkish language classes to decrease the language barrier, often an impediment for effective integration have been provided, as well as vocational education and training to boost employability and labour market integration for refugees.

Progress under the second tranche

In line with the strategic orientations agreed with EU Member States and Turkey, the programming of the second tranche is well underway, with a focus on supporting the socio-economic integration of refugees. A contract of €400 million was signed already in December 2018, which will ensure that refugee children in Turkey continue to have access to quality and inclusive education. Moreover, additional funding of €100 million will scale up interventions in school infrastructure. Furthermore, two Calls for Expression of Interest were launched in the area of socio-economic support and municipal infrastructure, with an allocation of €465 million and €380 million respectively. Preparations for further assistance in the areas of socio-economic support and health continues in parallel, with a particular focus on ensuring the transition from cash-transfer support to self-reliance and active labour market participation.  

Background

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 Syrian refugees in Turkey.

It has a total budget of €6 billion (a first tranche of €3 billion for 2016-2017 and a second tranche of €3 billion for 2018-2019). The operational funds of €3 billion for the Facility for 2016-2017 have been fully committed and contracted, with 72 projects rolled out, out of which over €2 billion has been disbursed. In order to ensure un-interrupted support for Refugees, the Commission proposed in March 2018 to mobilise funding from both the EU budget and Member States’ national budgets, starting with new EU contributions in 2018 already.

Out of the operational budget of €3 billion for 2018-2019, €1.2 billion has been committed, and €450 million contracted.

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 addressing the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU.

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