The European Union is further boosting its aid for refugees. With a new financial package worth 400 million euro, the EU will support the education of Syrian refugees in Turkey. This is the first initiative under the agreement by EU member states to finance an extra 3 billion euro for the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. This first tranche is going to be redistributed in the form of a grant to the Turkish Ministry of National Education.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood and Enlargement, commented that this assistance was a proof of the continued support in addressing the needs of both students and teachers. The education package is broader in scope than the current education initiatives focusing on outreach and the quality of education. The package is also designed to boost the sustainability of activities by ensuring that the number of contracted teachers is gradually reduced as Syrian refugees become fully integrated into public schools.
The EU Facility for Refugees was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call for more funding to support Syrian refugees. It provides a joint framework and a platform to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive manner. The tool seeks to improve conditions for refugees in a comprehensive approach to address the refugee crisis inside and outside the bloc. The total budget is 6 billion euros covering humanitarian and non-humanitarian aid. So far, 72 projects have been contracted for half of this amount. The Syrian crisis has entered its eighth year. More than 3.5 million people displaced by war and conflict have sought refuge in Turkey. Their numbers – by birth or arrivals – are increasing by 1,000 per day.