22 December 2020
The EU has finalised the contracting of the €6 billion it owes to Turkey as part of the March 2016 deal to keep refugees off European territory. The failure to provide all the funds promised was one reason cited by Turkey in March, when it decided to stop preventing departures to Greece, leading to a spike in arrivals, a diplomatic crisis between the EU and Turkey, the provision of more assistance from other EU member states to Greece for border security, and a worsening situation for people arriving in Greece.
The remaining funds come in the form of eight separate contracts worth €780m, which will provide "support to refugees in terms of basic needs, health care, protection, municipal infrastructure and vocational and technical education and training, employment and support to private sector, SMEs and entrepreneurship," according to the EU Delegation to Turkey.
See: EU Completes Contracting under the EUR 6 Billion Package in Support of Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey (Delegation of the EU to Turkey, link)
As of mid-March, the EU had contracted some €4.7 billion of the total, but only paid out €3.2 billion. In July, on top of the original €6 billion, the EU promised a further €485 million on top of the original, contracts and payment for which are presumably yet to be arranged.
Given that the Turkish government has demonstrated its willingness to use people desperate to reach Europe as bargaining chips (and given that the EU is desperate to stop those people arriving), the question now is: when will Turkey ask for more?
See also: EU concludes €6 billion contract for refugees in Turkey (InfoMigrants, link)
Full-text of the statement of the EU Delegation to Turkey:
EU Completes Contracting under the EUR 6 Billion Package in Support of Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey
The EU Delegation to Turkey signs the final eight contracts under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey this week. Under the contracts, the EU provides EUR 780 million in support to refugees in terms of basic needs, health care, protection, municipal infrastructure and vocational and technical education and training, employment and support to private sector, SMEs and entrepreneurship. The contracts will run for an average of two years and are signed with the Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services, the Ministry of Health, AFD (Agence Française de Développement), CEB (The Council of Europe Development Bank), KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) and ICMPD (The International Centre for Migration Policy Development). The signature marks the end of the contracting of the operational budget of the Facility pledged under the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016.
I) What is the Facility for Refugees in Turkey?
As a result of an unprecedented number of people arriving in Turkey mainly due to the conflict in Syria, Turkey has been hosting over 4 million refugees – which is the largest refugee community in the world. This includes 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees and around 400 thousand registered refugees from mainly Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Somalia. Turkey continues to make commendable efforts in receiving, supporting and hosting refugees and migrants, who have had a significant impact on the host communities too.
The European Union (EU) has been supporting Turkey in response to the refugee crisis since 2011. In 2016, this support was substantially scaled up with the entry into force of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. Through the Facility, EUR 6 billion has been committed to assist both refugees and host communities in Turkey, by providing assistance in key priority areas such as education, health, infrastructure, migration management, socio-economic development, protection and basic needs.
The EU has been working with Turkish Ministries, EU Member States’ Development Banks, International Financial Institutions, UN agencies, NGOs and INGOs to implement the projects needed. The EU funded projects will run until 2025.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, said on the occasion: “Today marks the finalisation of the contracting of EUR 6 billion in EU support to refugees and host communities in Turkey. I am happy to announce that we put an important milestone behind us and now focus on making sure that the refugees and host communities will benefit from our projects. I would like to commend once again Turkey for hosting over 4 million refugees. The EU will also be prepared to continue providing financial assistance to Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey.”
The EU announced in July 2020 an additional EUR 485 million to ensure the continuation of assistance. This amount comes on top of the EUR 6 billion under the Facility.
II) What will new contracts focus on?
Health / EUR 300 Million support in Total
Supporting Migrant Health Services in Turkey (SIHHAT 2) will focus on increasing the quality of migrant health services and the integration of these services and staff to the Turkish Health System. The number of Migrant Health Centres, the number of healthcare staff will increase to strengthen the services with a special focus on Health Literacy, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Reproductive Health, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation with EUR 210 million of support.
CEB together with the Ministry of Health will provide the construction of new migrant health centres, supply of medical equipment, maternity and health kits, as well as contribute to the capacity building of the ministry through the “Strengthening Health Care Infrastructure for All (SHIFA)” project with a EUR 90 million of support.
Improving Living Standards / EUR 245 Million
The Ministry of Family, Labour, and Social Services will implement two projects, on social assistance and social protection. The aim is to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable refugees and access of these vulnerable persons, and those from host communities, to protective social services. The Social Assistance project shall provide cash payments to 480,000 most vulnerable refugees to cover their basic needs while the Social Protection project shall extend and improve the provision of Social Services to the most vulnerable refugees and people from host communities.
Municipal Infrastructure / EUR 59 Million
The AFD’s project on municipal infrastructure focuses on the construction or the rehabilitation of water, wastewater and solid waste systems. Almost 1 million inhabitants will benefit from safely managed water and more than 2 million will benefit from an improved solid waste service when works are completed.
Development / EUR 156 million in Total
KfW aims to support the refugee and host community adolescents with its Economic and Social Cohesion through Vocational Education Training II project. This is the second phase of the currently implemented action under the first tranche. The project mainly aims at increasing the access to inclusive quality technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for people under temporary and international protection as well as Turkish adolescents in trades with a high demand on the labour market. It is expected that a budget of EUR 75 million will reach 15000 VET high school students and workshops in 50 VET high schools in 15 provinces.
The second action that will be implemented by KfW is the Empowering the Private Sector to Foster Social and Economic Cohesion in Turkey project with a budget of EUR 75 million. The project aims to support Syrian and Turkish small and medium size enterprises. These enterprises promote the formal employment and inclusion of unemployed or informally employed persons under temporary protection and Turkish citizens into the economic life. They also provide support to predominantly Syrian- and Turkish- owned businesses (SMEs) by offering investment grants for purchase of equipment. It is expected that more than 2,884 formal employment positions are retained or created for ESSN beneficiaries or other refugees under national and international protection; at least 2,884 formal employment positions are created or retained for Turkish citizens; at least 1,500 businesses will access finance and around 700 business will be supported through different instruments.
Finally, a new component which amounts to EUR 6,13 million will be added to the ENHANCER project, implemented by ICMPD, in order support the creation of new employment opportunities of the Syrians under Temporary Protection and local host communities. This will be achieved through better services and support to the economic sector and actors in prioritised areas. When the project ends, it is expected that the local priorities and mechanism to foster job creation for the Syrians and host communities are developed according to the local needs. SMEs and cooperatives will be in a position to provide new employment opportunities and improve their service capacity.
III) What has been achieved through the EU-funded programmes so far?
For more information please visit:
For more information please contact:
Libor Chlad, Head of Section Facility for Refugees in Turkey
firstname.lastname@example.org / T +90 312 459 87 00
For press inquiries:
Miray Akdağ - Press Officer for the Delegation of the European Union in Turkey
email@example.com / M +90 532 624 93 56 / T +90 312 459 88 77
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