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    EU launches second €3 billion tranche for refugees in Turkey

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The European Commission on Wednesday gave the green light to a second tranche of €3 billion to help Turkey host Syrian refugees on its soil, as promised two years ago in the controversial migration agreement concluded between the European Union and Turkey.
    The first tranche of the Facility for Refugees set up in 2016 was made up of €1 billion from the EU budget and €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.

    EU has already lived up to its commitment to deliver €3 billion for 2016 and 2017 through the Facility, 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,” writes the Commission.

    Under the so-called EU-Turkey Statement, Member States agreed to mobilise an additional €3 billion for the Facility shortly after the currently available resources had been contracted.  Wednesday’s decision follows from this and seeks to ensure that the 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.

    According to the Commission, an implementation report published on Wednesday (14 March) confirms that the Facility is delivering “positive, tangible and effective results for refugees in Turkey”.

    The European Court of Auditors wrote in its recent report on EU pre-accession assistance to Turkey that it will launch a separate audit of the Facility in 2018.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times