EU humanitarian initiative helps over 1.5 million refugees in Turkey
Over 1.5 million refugees in Turkey have been helped by an EU funded programme.
The initiative, launched in September 2016, is the largest single humanitarian project in the history of the European Union.
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, visiting Turkey on the occasion said:
"1.5 million refugees in Turkey are now able to meet their basic needs and live in dignity. The European Union, in cooperation with Turkey, is bringing a real change in the lives of the most vulnerable refugees. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. Jointly with Turkey we will continue this support, focusing on making our assistance sustainable."
The number of refugees in Turkey reached 3.9 million in 2018, making Turkey the country with the highest number of refugees in the world.
According to the European Commission, over 95% of Syrian refugees in Turkey remain outside of camps with limited but growing access to basic services.
To help improve this, the Emergency Social Safety Net, a programme implemented by the World Food Programme, provides monthly cash transfers via a debit card to help refugees to buy necessities, such as food, water and medication.
To ensure that this remains a sustainable solution, the EU initiative will continue in 2019 with a focus on further supporting the most vulnerable people to provide a long-term response.
The budget for 2019 will be €640 million, €80 million of this will be used to support education in emergencies.
In 2018, migrant flows shifted, with migration to Europe continuing to drop and arrivals from Spain doubling from the last year.
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Photograph: © EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation