To support 1.2m Syrian refugees in Turkey with monthly cash transfers and ensure that 500,000 children continue to have access to education, the European Commission has decided to mobilise additional funding.

The Commission on March 14 decided to establish the legal framework for the second tranche of €3bn, as foreseen in the EU-Turkey Statement, mobilising €1bn from the EU budget. The first tranche of the Facility for Refugees, which was set up in 2016, was made up of €1bn from the EU budget and €2bn from EU member states’ contributions.

“Today the Commission takes the first step in the mobilisation of additional support under the Facility for Syrian Refugees in Turkey,” said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

“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 €3bn, allowing us to continue our indispensable assistance.”

In turn, Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for European Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management, noted that the EU’s humanitarian aid for refugees in Turkey has delivered tangible results. He said: “1.2m 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”.

With Turkey hosting some 3.5m Syrian refugees, the Commission is committed to continuing this support, as the need for assistance is still significant.