Today, the European Commission announces €50 million to support vulnerable refugees and their host communities in Turkey. This humanitarian aid will go to specialised healthcare services and help address protection issues including legal counselling, psychosocial support, as well as access to civil documentation.
This funding is provided in addition to the EU Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), which currently supports over 1.5 million people in Turkey though cash assistance. The ESSN helps them pay for the things they need most, such as rent, transportation, food, or medicine.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The world’s eyes are on Ukraine, but we will not forget the refugees in Turkey, many of whom have been displaced for over a decade now. The most vulnerable among them have been especially hard hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the worsening of their economic situation. The EU will continue to provide humanitarian aid to refugees in Turkey and offer a lifeline to those most in need.”
The cost of living and lack of access to a regular income make it difficult for vulnerable families to make ends meet. Turkey has made commendable efforts to provide them with access to basic services, including education and healthcare, but many are facing deepening debt and poverty due to the secondary impacts of COVID-19 and the depreciation of the Turkish Lira.
Turkey currently hosts 4 million refugees. Over 3.7 million of them are Syrians who fled the ongoing conflict that has been ravaging their country for over 11 years. Due to the protracted nature of the Syrian crisis, many families have depleted their resources after years of displacement.
The EU, in close cooperation with the Turkish authorities, has been assisting the most vulnerable people through humanitarian projects based on their needs. Today’s new funding of €50 million is part of the €3 billion package announced by the European Commission in June 2021 to support refugees in Turkey until 2024. The €50 million comes in addition to the €325 million humanitarian aid already announced in December 2021 for the Emergency Social Safety Net programme in Turkey, bringing the total EU humanitarian funding for Turkey since 2012 close to €3.34 billion.