EU signs final contracts under the €6 billion budget of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

(Credit: Unsplash)

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

Today, the European Commission concluded the final contracts under the operational €6 billion budget of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. The signature of the final eight contracts worth €780 million covers support for basic needs, health care, protection, municipal infrastructure as well as training, employment and business development for refugees and local vulnerable populations alike.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, commented: “Today’s signature of the last eight contracts under the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey confirms the European Union’s delivers on its pledges. In total, €6 billion in support to refugees and host communities in Turkey have been fully contracted since 2016. This is an extraordinary achievement. I would like to commend the Turkish authorities for their cooperation in this joint effort, especially in the areas of health and education. The European Union will continue to stand by refugees and host communities in Turkey.”

What has been achieved so far under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey?

  • Over 1.7 million refugees in Turkey receive support through the EU’s biggest ever-humanitarian programme, the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN). This programme provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable Syrian refugees living in Turkey to meet basic needs.
  • The Conditional Cash Transfers for Education programme (CCTE), the largest EU-funded humanitarian education programme, provides support to families whose children attend school regularly. Over 620,000 refugee children go to school and will support 700,000 in 2021 thanks to this programme.
  • Through Facility support, over 750,000 refugee children and youth have access to school, and up to 365 schools will be built.
  • Over 3,400 healthcare service staff are employed in 177 migrant health centres. 13 million health  care  consultations have been delivered, and  over  4  million  vaccination  doses  have  been  provided  to  migrant infants  and  pregnant women.
  • In response to the COVID-19 crisis in Turkey, €98 million of support have been mobilised, in particular for the most vulnerable refugees.

What are the last eight projects signed?

  • In the priority area of health, the project “Supporting Migrant Health Services in Turkey” (SIHHAT 2) will focus on increasing the quality of health services for migrants, as well as the integration of these services and medical staff into the Turkish health system. Another project, implemented by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) together with the Ministry of Health, will focus on strengthening health infrastructure.
  • The Turkish Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services will implement two projects, one on social assistance and one on social protection. These projects will improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable refugees, as well as the host communities, and improve their access to protective social services.
  • A project on municipal infrastructure with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) will focus on the construction or the rehabilitation of water, wastewater and solid waste systems. Almost 1 million refugees and host community members will benefit from clean and safe water and more than 2 million will benefit from an improved solid waste service when the works are completed.
  • Two projects with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) aim at strengthening socio-economic support for refugees. The first aims at increasing refugees’ access to inclusive and quality technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for people under temporary and international protection, and for Turkish adolescents in sectors with a high demand on the labour market. The second action, implemented by KfW, will support Syrian and Turkish small and medium enterprises to promote formal employment and inclusion of unemployed or informally employed persons, by offering investment grants to purchase equipment.
  • Finally, a new component worth €6 million will be added to the “Enhacer” project, implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), in order support the creation of new employment opportunities of the Syrians under Temporary Protection and local host communities.


The Facility for Refugees, a key component of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, has allowed a significant scaling-up of EU support for refugees and host communities in Turkey.

The Facility combines €3 billion of EU budget and €3 billion of EU Member States contributions. A first tranche of €3 billion was mobilised in 2016-2017 and a second one in 2018-2019. Since 2016, the EU has been working with Turkish Ministries, EU Member States’ development banks, international financial institutions, UN agencies and NGOs to implement more than 100 projects in Turkey.

Turkey hosts over 4 million refugees, the largest refugee community in the world. This includes 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees and around 370,000 registered refugees from mainly Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Somalia. Turkey continues to make commendable efforts in receiving, supporting and hosting refugees and migrants, who have had a significant impact on the host communities too.

Given the continued need for support to refugees in Turkey, the EU announced in July 2020 an additional €485 million to ensure the continuation of the two key humanitarian programmes, the ESSN and the CCTE. This amount comes on top of the €6 billion under the Facility.

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