EU adopts new programmes in support to refugees and border management in Türkiye worth over €1.2 billion

(Credit: Unsplash)

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


The European Commission has adopted today a €220 million package to improve border control at Türkiye’s Eastern border, bringing to €1.235 billion the total EU assistance adopted in 2022 to continue support to refugees in Türkiye -basic needs, assistance for the most vulnerable and socio-economic support- and for border management. These funds are part of the additional €3 billion, announced in June 2021, following the European Council, to continue EU assistance to refugees in Türkiye between 2021 and 2023.

The over €1.2 billion assistance package adopted this year is composed of four programmes:

  • 400 million to continue cash assistance to support refugees meet their daily basic needs under the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), one of the flagship programmes under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. As part of the strategy to transition from humanitarian support to development assistance, the fourth phase of the ESSN continues the provision of cash assistance, while strengthening the linkages and pathways to access the labour market.
  • €234 million for projects implementing Türkiye’s Employment Strategy and Sustainable Social-economic Programme for refugees. This assistance will focus on increasing refugee employability, including by providing vocational and skills training, among other support.
  • €381 million to continue the Complementary-ESSN programme focused on providing cash support for the most vulnerable refugees (elderly, handicapped, etc.).
  • 220 million to support further border control measures at Türkiye’s Eastern border. This programme will notably fund new equipment (surveillance masts, cameras, lightning systems) at the border with Iran and Iraq, as well as training for officials in matters such as the use of border management technologies, migration law, humanitarian border management, fundamental rights, and responding to large-scale mixed migration flows.

Background

Türkiye has been hosting the largest refugee community in the world, around 4 million refugees since 2015. This includes 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees and 330,000 registered refugees from other countries. Türkiye continues to make commendable efforts to receive, support and host refugees and migrants.

Since 2015, the EU has mobilised €9.5 billion for refugees and host communities in Türkiye. This includes as a key component of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, the €6 billion Facility for Refugees in Turkey, with €3 billion from the EU budget and €3 billion from the EU Member States. From the Facility envelope over €4.9 billion have been disbursed to date.

In addition, in 2020, the EU allocated over €535 million in bridge humanitarian funding to refugees in Türkiye.

Following the European Council of 24-25 June 2021 that asked for the continuation of EU support to refugees and host communities in Türkiye for 2021-2023, the Commission proposed in July 2021 an addiitonal €3 billion to be allocated in Türkiye as part of a wider €5.7 billion package to support refugees in the region. An initial €860 million of this additional envelope was already adopted in 2021, with the remainder to be committed in 2023.

The Commission presented this overall package to Member States on the occasion of the 18th meeting of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey which met in Brussels on 8 December, in the presence of representatives of the United Kingdom (as a former Member State having contributed resources to the Facility), the Turkish authorities and observers from the European Parliament.

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