EU approves over $140M aid for Syrians in Turkey


By Sorwar Alam


The EU has approved 126.5-million-euro ($140.96-million) assistance package for Syrian refugees in Turkey, the European Commission announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The commission said the new aid package would focus on better access to several key services, including education and healthcare skills building of Syrian refugees.

The latest aid program for refugees in Turkey is a part of a new package of the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, which estimates 275 million euros ($306.42 million) for the new projects to “support refugees and their overstretched host communities in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, the Western Balkans, and Armenia”.

As part of the assistance package, 105 million euros ($117 million) would be used to ensure the “access to vocational training, income and employment generation and Turkish language courses,” the statement said.

A total of 11.5 million euros ($12.81 million) will be used for improved access to healthcare for refugees and host communities, while another 10 million euros ($11.14 million) would be used “to enhance the skills of refugees and capacity building of local authorities in Turkey”.

The current volume of the EU Trust Fund exceeds €1 billion with this new aid package that will see contributions from its 22 member states, the EU and Turkey, according to the commission statement.

“The EU will continue to respond to the needs arising from the Syria conflict, as testified by the fact that more than 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) is being channeled to improve lives via this Trust Fund,” EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said in a statement regarding the fund.

Turkey now hosts some three million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

The country has spent around $25 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

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