The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides has praised Turkey's efforts to meet the needs of refugees living in the country.He also stressed that the EU and Turkey will continue to exert efforts to support the education of refugee children.
In a visit to Ankara yesterday, Stylianides, Deputy Education Minister Reha Denemeç, head of the EU delegation to Turkey Ambassador Christian Berger and UNICEF Turkey representative Philippe Duamelle came together with students in Ankara who benefit from the education program that is supported by the EU.
Stylianides said that 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," Stylianides told reporters.
The Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), launched in September 2016, provides monthly cash transfers via a debit card to help refugees buy what they need most, such as food, medicine, or even paying rent. In another program, the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education, supports families of more than 410,000 children who attend school regularly.
Duamelle underscored the Turkish government's efforts to prevent the emergence of a lost generation of Syrian refugees are welcomed and need to be appreciated. He added that "650,000 Syrian children are benefiting educational services in Turkey. We continue our work to give an education to the remaining children." Denemeç, for his part, underlined that Turkey has been hosting the largest number of refugees and is the most generous country in the world in providing humanitarian aid considering its GDP per capita.
With its humanitarian aid expenditures that were nearly 1 percent of its gross domestic product, Turkey was the most charitable nation in 2017, according to the Development Initiative's (DI) Global Humanitarian Assistance Report.