EU leaders will decide today at a summit to provide Turkey with another €3.5 billion to help the country manage the refugee crisis.
Almost €530 million will be provided by the Commission by the end of the year for humanitarian programs and €3 billion through the EU budget by 2024, an EU diplomat told EURACTIV. The diplomat said the new money will not only cover humanitarian aid, but will also have a “social inclusion” element.
Moreover, Turkey will be granted the rest €1.9 billion from the 2016 EU-Turkey statement.
In addition, the EU leaders plan to also support Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. In total, these countries will receive €2.2 billion from voluntary contributions from donors’ conferences.
The decision to add these three countries also has a political element, according to the diplomat. “It is not only Turkey that has lifted the burden of refugees […] it is also a clear message to the wider neighbourhood that those who offer to the stability of the region should be assisted,” the diplomat said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that without cooperation with Turkey “we will not get anywhere.” (Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)