Mid-Term Evaluation of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EU support made a significant contribution to the welfare of Syrians and others fleeing conflict in the region

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


Within the framework of the March 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, the European Union (EU), through the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, has mobilised €6 billion in assistance to refugees in Turkey. The strategic mid-term evaluation, presented today, concluded that this assistance made a significant contribution to the welfare of Syrians and others fleeing the conflict in the region. As the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced at the European Council of 24-25 June, the EU Budget would provide €3 billion over 2021-2023, demonstrating the EU’s continued solidarity with refugees and host communities in Turkey.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Ten years into the Syrian conflict, our partners in the region still carry the lion’s share of the burden. It is our collective challenge to protect the refugees and support their hosts.”

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “This evaluation is a valuable source of information on the EU’s Facility for Refugees in Turkey; we will draw inspiration from this to guide the mobilisation of the €3 billion in additional socioeconomic support to refugees from the EU Budget so they can make their own living, a key investment for their future and the stability of the region and beyond. I look forward to continuing our good cooperation with Turkey on this joint effort.”

Main Findings of the Evaluation

The independent evaluation finds that the Facility for Refugees in Turkey has made a significant contribution to the welfare of Syrians and others fleeing conflict in the region in areas such as health, education, protection and socio-economic support. The Facility has been a symbol of solidarity and support for Turkey that has generously hosted the highest number of refugees in the world. The Facility provided assistance at an unprecedented scale and reach, according to mid-term evaluation. This assistance largely met the needs of refugees and was targeted effectively.

However, the report also finds that the EU needs to do more to mitigate social tensions for refugees, including developing a social cohesion strategy. It also calls on the EU to do more to reach some refugees that are least likely to access assistance. It also states that the Facility’s set-up as a coordination mechanism of financial instruments had limitations regarding strategic coherence. The Commission has concluded that it will, therefore, be necessary to rely on the EU Budget and decision making under the community method to channel further support to Turkey. The evaluators will present their findings and recommendations today, 7 July, in the form of a virtual public event (14.00–15.30 CET). Please register here.

Background

The Facility for Refugees is a key component of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, marking a significant scaling-up of EU support to refugees in Turkey.

The Facility combines €3 billion of EU budget and €3 billion of EU Member States contributions. The first tranche of €3 billion was mobilised in 2016-2017, and the 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 refugee projects in Turkey.

The full €6 billion has already been contracted and more than €4.1 billion has already been disbursed. The rest of the funds will continue to be disbursed until the finalisation of the projects, most in 2022 and 2023 and some in 2025.

Turkey has been hosting around 4 million refugees, the largest refugee community in the world. This includes 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees and 330,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Somalia. Turkey continues to make commendable efforts to receive, support, and host refugees and migrants, who have significantly affected the host communities. 

The European Council of 24-25 June 2021 agreed to allocate €3 billion in additional EU assistance to refugees in Turkey for 2021-2023 and to the €535 million allocated in 2020 to continue humanitarian assistance to refugees in Turkey.

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