ER Editor: We’re connecting to a previous story we ran just over a week ago where Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu (pictured) was threatening to flood Europe with some or all of the estimated 3.6 migrants drawn from a number of countries it has been holding onto (see featured meme). Turkey has many good reasons to be frustrated by years of endless deals and promises by the European Union; however, there are many good reasons why neither visa-free travel for millions of poor Turks into the EU nor Turkish accession to the EU are particularly good ideas. See Turkey Threatening to Reignite European Migrant Crisis.
We issue a bias alert for the story below. With a highly sympathetic photo of a presumably Syrian couple, the story suggests that it is mostly Syrian refugees who are being held in Turkey. It is not. The story we link to above says that the 3.6 million figure is mostly made up of Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, with probably others thrown in.
EU announces extra $142m fund for refugees in Turkey
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
The EU announced on Tuesday €127 million ($142 million) worth of additional funding to a humanitarian program in Turkey for supporting refugees, said a written statement, Anadolu Agency reports.
The EU’s total contribution to the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) program via the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey reached €1.12 billion ($1.26 billion) with the new funding, it noted.
Christos Stylianides, a commissioner for humanitarian aid, said: “Our new funding will allow us to reach more than 1.6 million refugees, helping them to live in dignity in Turkey”.
The ESSN program provides monthly financial assistance for refugees with a special debit card which can be used only in Turkey. This implementation helps to integrate refugees into the local economy and society as paying for basic needs, it added.
The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call.
The Facility has a total budget of €6 billion ($6.7 billion) and is divided into two equal tranches, the statement read.
“Out of €6 billion worth of funds, over €5.6 billion ($6.3 billion) has been allocated, while over €3.5 billion ($3.9 billion) contracted and over €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) has already been disbursed,” it said.
“With financing from the EU, over 1.6 million refugees receive around €20 ($22.3) per person per month, plus quarterly top-ups to help meet their basic needs such as rent and food,” the statement added.
Turkey hosts over 3.6 million Syrian refugees, according to a refugee association data. (ER: there are other nationalities included in this figure, including Afghans and Iraqis)
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