The European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic announced at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey that the European Union “has decided to extend the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) until the beginning of 2023 with an additional 325 million euros”.
At the press conference, the new aid package was presented, for over 1.5 million of the nearly five million migrants in Turkey.
“I would like to really thank Turkey for its hospitality and for the collaboration we have with the Turkish authorities,” said Lenarcic, recalling that Ankara is home to “the largest refugee population in the world”.
The European commissioner praised the 2016 agreement between Ankara and Brussels, with which the EU decided to allocate six billion euros to help refugees in Turkey in exchange for a commitment by Turkey to stop migrants from trying to reach Europe illegally.
Lenarcic recalled that the entire sum was almost completely allocated and that last year the European Commission renewed its commitment with another three billion euros to Turkey through 2024.
“The total amount is almost 10 billion euros. Never before has such support been provided to countries hosting refugees,” Lenarcic said.
The ESSN programme represents a collaboration between the EU, the International Red Cross and the Turkish Red Crescent.
Thanks to this project, most of the refugees in Turkey receive monthly funds that they can use to pay for transport, medicines, food and bills.