The European Union has proposed a plan to provide financial support for Turkey to deal with the refugees in the country, as part of an amendment of its 2020 budget towards the crisis.
The European Commission presented the proposal yesterday, offering to send a payment of €485 million ($545 million) to Turkey in order “to top up support for refugees and host communities in response to the Syria crisis by a total of €585 million”.
The remaining €100 million ($112 million) will be allocated to Jordan and Lebanon, who have also been dealing with the refugee crisis caused by the ongoing Syrian civil war.
In a statement yesterday, the EU commissioner for enlargement and neighbourhood, Oliver Varhelyi, said the provision of the fund is made particularly due to the fact that there is “no immediate end in sight of the Syrian crisis”.
Varhelyi emphasised that “The European Union continues to show strong solidarity with our partner countries Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, as well as with the refugees they are hosting.”
The transfer of the money to Turkey will reportedly extend the operation of two programs which are already established within the country until the end of the next year. One of them named the Emergency Social Safety Net provides financial assistance to over 1.7 million refugees on a monthly basis, while the other, Conditional Cash Transfers, enables more than 600,000 refugee children to attend school.
This proposal to provide these funds is part of the 2016 refugee deal between Turkey and the EU, which stipulated that Turkey must prevent refugees from entering Europe in exchange for financial aid and assistance. The initial sum that was agreed upon back then was €6 billion ($6.5 billion) and was meant to be fully paid by this year, but the EU’s part of the agreement was not fulfilled, prompting Turkey to open up its border with Europe earlier this year as a last resort.
The remainder of the full amount is now expected to be paid by 2025, with this proposal of €485 million set to be additional funding.