1.7 million Syrian refugees to benefit from Turkey EU-funded programme


The EU funded partnership between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Turkish Red Crescent Society will continue to provide humanitarian support to around 1.7 million Syrians living in Turkey.

With €500 million in EU funding, IFRC will provide monthly assistance via debit cards to the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey under the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme.

The ESSN is a multi-purpose cash transfer scheme that allows families to decide for themselves how to cover essential needs like rent, transport, bills, food, and medicine.

“Cash assistance is about dignity. Supporting people with cash gives them the freedom, dignity and independence to take control of their own lives and allows them to engage with and contribute to the communities that are hosting them, said Elhadj As Sy, IFRC Secretary-General.

“Many refugees have limited access to the formal labour market. Cash grants offer the power of choice and give people the independence to address their families’ essential needs.” continued Mr AsSy.

Through the ESSN programme, IFRC and the Turkish Red Crescent will provide families with approximately €18 (120TL) a month through prepaid cards. In addition, families will receive quarterly additional allowances based on family size, along with monthly payments to beneficiaries with disabilities.

In 2018, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement were responsible for delivering about 25 per cent of all humanitarian cash assistance globally.

The ESSN is the largest humanitarian programme in the history of the EU and will be the largest programme ever implemented by IFRC.

Eight years into the conflict in Syria, an estimated 5.6 million Syrians are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries, and more than 6.2 million are internally displaced inside Syria. In Turkey, there are an estimated 4 million refugees, of whom 3.6 million are Syrian.

For the past three years, the World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent Society, has been implementing the ESSN programme in Turkey. The funding has been provided by the European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department under the EU’s Facility for Refugees in Turkey. (Source: reliefweb.int)