European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Commission continues humanitarian support for refugees in Turkey

Commissioner Lenarcic during his visit to Turkey. © European Union, 2020

During a mission to Gaziantep in Turkey, Commissioner for Crisis Janez Lenarčič visited aid projects helping Syrian refugees and met with key partners providing cross-border assistance in Idlib. 

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The European Union has delivered on its commitment to help the refugees in Turkey. I have heard firsthand from the refugees how important EU aid programmes are for them not only because they help meet their most basic needs but also because it gives them hope by being able to send their children to school. I have reassured them they are not alone. The EU is strongly committed to continue to support refugees in Turkey.”

Thanks to EU funding, humanitarian partner organisations provide 1.7 million refugees in Turkey with monthly assistance through the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme. The EU also funds education programmes, such as ‘Conditional Cash Transfers for Education' (CCTE), benefitting more than 600,000 children who attend school regularly. 

A number of other humanitarian aid projects address protection issues, including legal counselling, psychosocial support, access to civil documentation, and specialised healthcare services. For 2020, the EU has allocated an additional €50 million in humanitarian assistance to continue protection and health projects in Turkey.   


The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council's call for significant additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey. It has a total budget of €6 billion of which €4.7 billion have now been contracted. €2.4 billion of this is humanitarian aid which had been fully contacted.  In addition to humanitarian assistance, development projects under the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey focuses on education, migration management, health, municipal infrastructure, and socio-economic support.

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