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EU to spend hundreds of millions of euros to help refugees in Turkey

The European Union (EU) plans to spend hundreds of millions of euros over the next year helping refugees living in Turkey, most of them people who fled the war in Syria, The Associated Press reported.

EU to spend hundreds of millions of euros to help refugees in Turkey

EU to spend hundreds of millions of euros to help refugees in Turkey

STEPANAKERT, DECEMBER 24, ARTSAKHPRESS: The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, said Wednesday that it is extending two programs, one that provides cash assistance to refugees in Turkey to meet their basic needs and the other that provides funds to help educate children.

The programs will be extended until early 2022 at a total cost of 485 million euros ($590 million).

The programs are managed by the Turkish Red Crescent in partnership with the Red Cross and UNICEF. Money does not go directly to Turkey’s government.

Turkey is home to almost 4 million refugees. Around 70 percent are women and children, and the overwhelming majority of refugees live outside migrant camps.

The European Union relies on Turkey to stop migrants and refugees from trying to reach the bloc’s 27 member nations illegally.

In 2016, the EU offered Turkey up to 6 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in aid for Syrian refugees on its territory, fast-tracked EU membership and visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens if Turkey stopped migrants from trying to depart for Europe. The number of arrivals dropped dramatically.

But in March, Turkish authorities began waving thousands of migrants through to Europe after dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed in fighting in northern Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had sought European help in northern Syria, but the request was refused and he accused the EU of reneging on its promises under the 2016 deal.

EU leaders in turn accused Erdogan of “blackmail” but then promised to review the deal in an effort to end the chaos at Europe’s borders.


     

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