The European Commission has approved a new €400 million assistance package for the education of Syrian refugees in Turkey, a move that follows an earlier decision by the EU to pledge €3 billion to the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.
The €400 million will be given in the form of a direct grant to the Turkish Ministry of National Education of Turkey, according to the European Commission. The amount is targeted to provide for the continuation of the current education project for Syrian refugees in Turkey, which will expire in October 2018.
On June 29, the bloc agreed on how to finance the second tranche of the €3 billion for the facility, which will see €2 billion of the amount paid for from the EU budget and the remaining €1 billion by the EU Member States. The decision honours an EU-Turkish joint statement from March 18, 2016, that said the second instalment of the €3 billion would be released before the funds for the first tranche had been fully depleted.
The new assistance package is broader in scope than the current education project in that it will focus on outreach, the increased quality of formal education for students, Turkish language training for adults in Public Education Centres, the continuation and improvement of the examination system, and social cohesion activities. The duration of the new assistance is also longer than the previous package, covering three academic years.
To date, 72 projects have been contracted for €3 billion, of which almost €2 billion has been disbursed. The €400 million Special Measure announced today is the 73rd Facility Project.