The first Steering Committee meeting of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey was held yesterday in Brussels.
The Committee, composed by the Member States and Turkey, gave the European Commission the mandate to immediately implement the 2016 contribution from the EU budget to provide more urgently needed humanitarian aid and access to education for refugee children in Turkey. The first projects is aimed at providing humanitarian aid and supporting access to education of refugee children in Turkey and it will shortly be presented for approval in the ECHO committee for humanitarian aid funding.
The funding, reaching a total of up to €3 billion over two years, will finance the provision of humanitarian, development and other assistance to refugees and host communities, national and local authorities in managing and addressing the consequences of the inflows of refugees. The progressive delivery of this assistance is conditional on the implementation by Turkey of its commitments under the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan. Furthermore,the Steering Committee of the Facility provides strategic guidance and decides on which types of actions will be supported and through which financing instruments.
Turkey a major first reception and transit country for migrants. The country is hosting more than 2.5 million asylum seekers and refugees. In November last year, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a €3 billion (£2.3 billion) deal for Turkey in exchange for stringent border controls on the west coast. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to send the millions of refugees in Turkey to European Union (EU) member states, as NATO agreed to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to ease the migrant crisis.