EU sends more than half a billion to help Syrian refugee crisis

2 Dec 15

The European Union is to devote more than half a billion euros to managing the Syrian refugee crisis and supporting the Middle Eastern countries where many have fled.


The EU Trust Fund, which was launched last year to respond to regional crises, will deliver €350m worth of aid to 1.5 million refugees and host communities in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. An additional €200m aid package will be also be shared between Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, as well as the Western Balkans.

Speaking in regards to the EU Trust Fund disbursement, European Commission vice president Federica Mogherini, who is also high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said the EU has a duty to provide support to refugees and host communities tied up in “the biggest humanitarian crisis” faced for decades.

The €350m package will consist of different programmes focused on education, resilience and local development, health and water, sanitation and hygiene.

On the €200m European Commission aid, Christos Stylianides, EU commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said the EU is working to support the most vulnerable people affected by the crisis across the whole region.

“Iraq’s humanitarian situation should not be overlooked: it could become another Syria if we do not mobilise sufficient support and assistance,” he warned.

The commission also announced a €100m loan for Tunisia, representing the third tranche of a macro-financial assistance programme worth €300m.

The money will support Tunisia an economic reform programme agreed with the International Monetary Fund, to help the country overcome its financial difficulties.

Pierre Moscovici, EU commissioner for economic and financial affairs, said: “Following the horrific terrorist attacks on their country this year, the European Union is more determined than ever to stand by the people of Tunisia.

“[This] financial assistance will support the agenda of economic and social reforms Tunisia intends to implement.”

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