ANKARA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of €40 million (US$43.8 million) from the European Union to continue and scale up vital assistance to Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The contribution, from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), will help WFP reach up to 735,000 Syrians as part of the new EU Refugee Facility for Turkey. This means that WFP will be able to assist more than three times the number of Syrian refugees it currently supports – in particular more than half a million outside camps, who receive no regular assistance and endure harsh conditions.
Referring to today’s announcement, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said: “We have been providing humanitarian aid since the beginning of the crisis. The new Refugee Facility allows us to deliver more and better aid. The new €40 million in humanitarian aid we are providing to WFP will help to reach 735,000 Syrian refugees inside and off camps.”
“As the needs of Syrian refugees continue to grow, we have to sustain our support for families inside camps and expand food assistance to those living with host communities,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe. “This contribution is a significant step which will allow us to scale up food assistance to meet the urgent needs of extremely vulnerable families, many of whom are living across Turkish towns and cities, unable to put food on the table for their children.”
The Syria conflict will enter its 6th year later this month, and Turkey has borne the brunt of the humanitarian fallout, sheltering the largest refugee population in the world, including 2.6 million Syrians. The funds will be crucial in allowing WFP and its partner, the Turkish Red Crescent, to address immediate needs of refugees. Through e-cards, refugees will be able to purchase food locally in designated shops. The programme gives beneficiaries the chance to choose the foods they want to eat, while supporting the Turkish economy by partnering with local businesses.
WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent are currently assisting 150,000 people inside camps in Turkey and nearly 100,000 living among Turkish communities.
ECHO is one of the largest donors to WFP’s work in Syria and neighbouring countries and a vital partner to WFP, having provided more than €220 million ($242 million) for food assistance since the start of the Syrian crisis. EU assistance for Syrians and Syrian refugees, provided by WFP, has included e-vouchers and cash-based assistance, school meals and emergency food assistance.
The EU Facility for Refugees is a mechanism allowing coordination of actions to support refugees in Turkey, funded by the EU budget and contributions from member states over the period 2016-17, up to a total of €3 billion ($3.3 billion).
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org): Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521 Enrico Pausilli, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32 2 500 09 15, Mob. +32 492 73 91 18 Jonny Hogg, WFP/Turkey, Tel. +90 312 491 11 38, Mob. +90 536 866 6677, Berna Cetin, WFP/Turkey, Tel. +90 312 491 11 38, Mob. +90 534 355 48 30 Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474 Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057 Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646 525 9982