EU’s Massive Refugee Welfare System in Turkey

This press release from the European Commission provides a quick overview of the massive welfare system erected to keep Syrian refugees in Turkey. Very interesting. The website at the link below posts daily press releases from the European Commission on every topic. Essentially none of it appears in the American media.


EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: the Commission proposes to mobilise additional funds for Syrian refugees. Brussels: European Commission, March 14, 2018.

Following through on its commitment to support Syrian refugees in Turkey, the European Commission is today mobilising additional funding for the Facility for Refugees which has so far given 500.000 children access to education and is supporting 1.2 million refugees with monthly cash transfers. Today’s decision establishes the legal framework for the second tranche of EUR 3 billion, as foreseen in the EU-Turkey Statement, mobilising EUR 1 billion from the EU budget. The first tranche of the Facility set up in 2016 was made up of EUR 1 billion from the EU budget and EUR 2 billion from Member States’ contributions. The Commission proposes to continue this arrangement, so that the successful and effective work of the Facility for projects benefiting refugees in Turkey can continue.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “Today the Commission takes the first step in the mobilisation of additional support under the Facility for Syrian Refugees in Turkey. The publication of the second annual report clearly highlights the positive results achieved so far and how vital and effective the Facility is, in supporting the most vulnerable refugees and their host communities in Turkey, thus reducing migratory pressures. I call on Member States to fulfil the commitments taken to mobilise an additional EUR 3 billion, allowing us to continue our indispensable assistance.”

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for European Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management, said: “From helping children attend school to giving vulnerable families access to essential services, the EU’s humanitarian aid for refugees in Turkey has delivered tangible results. 1.2 million refugees have benefitted from EU humanitarian support through our largest ever cash assistance programme. The new funding will allow us to continue working with Turkey and humanitarian organisations to assist vulnerable refugees and their host communities.”

The European Union has already lived up to its commitment to deliver EUR 3 billion for 2016 and 2017 through its Facility for Refugees in Turkey, with the full amount having been programmed, committed and contracted before the end of 2017 – in the space of just 21 months. With Turkey hosting some 3.5 million Syrian refugees, the Commission is committed to continuing this support, as the need for assistance is still significant. Under the EU-Turkey Statement, Member States agreed to mobilise an additional EUR 3 billion for the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey shortly after the currently available resources had been contracted. Today’s decision follows from this and seeks to ensure that the valuable work of the Facility can continue. The money from the Facility goes to projects to address the needs of refugees and host communities with a focus on humanitarian assistance, education, health, municipal infrastructure and socio-economic support. An implementation report published today confirms that the Facility is delivering positive, tangible and effective results for refugees in Turkey.

Progress in humanitarian assistance: Under the humanitarian strand of the Facility, EUR 1.38 billion has been allocated and all 45 humanitarian projects have been contracted with 19 partners, covering basic needs, protection, education and health. The EU has continued to address the needs of particularly vulnerable refugees via the Emergency Social Safety Net benefitting 1.2 million of the most vulnerable refugees. The Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme was launched in 2017 and is the largest ever Education in Emergencies programme financed by the EU, facilitating access for refugee populations to formal education systems. As of February 2018, over 266,000 children attended school and their families received financial support through the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education programme.

Solid results in education, health and socio-economic support: Under the long-term development strand of the Facility, EUR 1.611 billion has been allocated, all 27 projects have been contracted and EUR 747 million has been disbursed. The Facility continues to support longer-term livelihoods, socio-economic and educational perspectives of refugees in Turkey. This support helps children get access to primary and secondary education and to improve educational infrastructure, including school buildings and learning materials. Since October 2017, a EUR 300 million direct grant – implemented in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of National Education – has been promoting the integration of Syrian children into the Turkish education system, and has provided 312,000 children with Turkish language training by almost 5,500 Turkish language teachers. With the support of KfW [the German state-owned KfW Bankengruppe development bank] and the World Bank, the construction and equipping of 125 solid structures and 50 prefabricated schools should benefit 124,000 refugee children annually. In addition, working with the Turkish Ministry of Health, the Facility has delivered EUR 300 million in aid to ensure refugees can access healthcare services, including the vaccination of more than 217,000 Syrian refugee children. As of December 2017, refugees have benefitted from over 760,000 primary health care consultations. To improve the employability and labour market integration of refugees and vulnerable members of host communities, new projects will deliver vocational training to 15,100 people and 7,400 people will benefit from job search and counselling sessions. (IP/18/1723) –