On Monday, December 11, the Commission has announced additional humanitarian aid for two major projects through the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, that both work by providing monthly transfers on a special debit card.
€650 million goes to the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) which is implemented by the World Food Programme. A further €50 million will boost the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) project implemented by UNICEF.
“The EU is an innovator in humanitarian aid and we are stepping up funding for programmes that are bringing real results to over one million people. With €1 billion in funding, the Emergency Social Safety Net is improving lives and helping refugees and their host communities in Turkey. This is complemented by a programme encouraging children to go to school, by providing additional money on the same card. Let me commend the generosity of the Turkish people in hosting so many refugees,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
The ESSN programme works by providing monthly transfers to the most vulnerable refugees via a special debit card, allowing them to purchase essential items. It already supports over 1.1 million refugees and will continue until the end of January 2019 with this additional funding. Today’s announcement brings total funding to the ESSN to €1 billion.
The CCTE project, announced earlier this year, supports refugee families who register their children for school and ensure that they attend regularly. The programme, delivered by UNICEF, helps cover the costs of education and supports families to send their children to school. The project has now reached the families of over 167,000 children, and aims to help 250,000 refugee children during its first year.
Both programmes are implemented in close partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent, and the Turkish authorities.
Why the extra funding to Turkey
Turkey is host to the largest refugee population in the world – over 3.4 million people. The EU is showing solidarity and support to refugees and host communities in Turkey by providing €3 billion in 2016-2017 through the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.
€1.378 billion of the Facility’s funds are dedicated for humanitarian projects. During 2016 and 2017, the EU has financed 45 humanitarian projects in Turkey with 19 UN and NGO partners. The EU together with its partners and Turkish authorities has delivered projects in areas like health and education, helping refugees access the services they need the most. The EU funding has helped refugees meet their basic daily needs and ensure they have access to protection services.
In particular for the ESSN and CCTE programmes, together with its partnership with WFP and UNICEF, the EU has worked closely with the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management and General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality, the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, and the Ministry of National Education…/IBNA