EU approves over $500 million in financial aid for Turkey’s Syrian refugees

The European Union on Saturday approved 485 million euros ($543.2 million) in financial aid for Turkey to support its Syrian refugee population, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

The aid will extend the duration of two established programmes – the Emergency Social Safety Net, which provides monthly financial assistance to more than 1.7 million refugees, and the Conditional Cash Transfers, which aids over 600,000 school-aged children – until the end of 2021, it said. 

The EU funding will arrive in the form of additional aid on top of the 6 billion euros the European bloc pledged to Ankara in a 2016 deal to stop the flow of Europe-bound migrants and improve the living conditions of Turkey’s some 3.7 million Syrian refugees.

Turkey currently hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country in the world, spending $40 billion to support them, according to government figures.

The EU will continue to support Turkey’s refugees as long as their humanitarian conditions call for it, Deutsche Welle quoted European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, as saying.

"Especially now, at a time when the coronavirus has made an already negative situation even more negative," Lenarcic said.