The European Commission has approved a new assistance package worth €400 million, for the education of Syrian refugees in Turkey. This is the first action adopted following the agreement by EU Member States to finance an additional €3 billion for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.
€400 million will be given in the form of a direct grant to the Turkish Ministry of National Education of Turkey. The funding will provide for the continuation of the current education project for Syrian refugees in Turkey which will expire in October 2018.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations,said: “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. 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 is broader in scope than the current education project: it 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.
Continued support to Syrian refugees via the EU Facility
On 29 June, EU Member States agreed on how to finance the second tranche of €3 billion of the Facility, with €2 billion of this amount financed from the EU budget and the remaining €1 billion by Member States’ contributions. The agreement honours the commitment undertaken by the EU under the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016 to provide a second instalment of €3 billion for the EU Facility before the €3 billion initially allocated has been fully used up.
As a result, the Commission amended the earlier financing decision, reflecting the mobilisation of €2 billion from the EU budget and €1 billion from the Member States during 2018-2019.
The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call for significant additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey. It provides a joint coordination mechanism, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. The support seeks to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey as part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to addressing the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU.
The EU Facility has a total budget of €6 billion for projects including humanitarian and non-humanitarian actions. €3 billion for 2016-2017 and €3 billion for 2018-2019. To date, 72 projects have been contracted for €3 billion, out of which almost €2 billion has been disbursed. The €400 million Special Measure announced today is the 73rd Facility project.
The latest progress report on the implementation of the European Agenda on Migration was published on 16 May 2018.