A new assistance package worth €400m for the education of Syrian refugees in Turkey has been approved by the European Commission. This is the first action adopted following the agreement by EU member states to finance an additional €3bn for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.

According to a Commission press release, the €400m will be given in the form of a direct grant to Turkey’s education ministry. The funding will provide for the continuation of the current education project for Syrian refugees in Turkey which will expire in October 2018.

“With the endorsement of the second tranche of funding by EU Member States, we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to support Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey,” said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. “The approval of this new assistance package is proof of this, allowing for the smooth continuation of our support in addressing the needs of both students and teachers.”

The new assistance package will focus on outreach, increased quality of formal education for students, Turkish language training for adults in Public Education Centres, the continuation and improvement of the examination system, and social cohesion activities. The duration of the new assistance is also longer than the previous package, covering three academic years rather than two.

The package aims to ensure the sustainability of activities for the period after EU Facility funding has ended. For example, the number of contracted teachers should gradually reduce as Syrian students become fully integrated into public schools and Turkish ministry teachers take over.