The European Union adopted a new €297 million assistance package to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis. The EU has also decided to extend the mandate of the Trust Fund which will allow the Trust Fund's projects to run until the end of 2023.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi commented: “The newly adopted assistance package will provide further support to refugees and host communities when it comes to livelihood, social protection, affordable quality healthcare, water and wastewater infrastructures. The work of the EU Trust Fund has been instrumental in providing vital assistance to refugees fleeing from the Syrian war and to countries hosting refugees. The extension of the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis allows us to continue our support to people in need and to the whole region.”
The assistance package consists of the following actions in support of refugees and host communities
The new assistance package was adopted by the EU Trust Fund's Operational Board, which brings together the European Commission, EU Member States, and Turkey. Observers of the Operational Board include Members of the European Parliament, representatives from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the World Bank, and the Syria Recovery Trust Fund. With this newly adopted package, the Trust Fund has committed over €1.8 billion in concrete actions in the region, helping refugees and host countries alike.
Background on the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis
Since its establishment in December 2014, a significant share of the EU's support to help Syrian refugees and Syria's neighbouring countries is being provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis. The Trust Fund reinforces an integrated EU aid response to the crisis and primarily addresses longer-term resilience and needs to enhance self-reliance of Syrian refugees and, at the same time, contributes to ease the pressure on host communities and the administrations in neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The Fund has also underpinned the EU Compacts agreed with Jordan and Lebanon to better assist them in the protracted refugee crisis. With the new package adopted now, the Fund has mobilised a total of over €700 million for Lebanon, more than €500 million for Turkey, more than €400 million for Jordan and over €150 million for Iraq in 5 years of operations. Overall, more than €1.8 billion has been mobilised from the EU budget and contributions of 22 EU Member States and Turkey.
The Trust Fund's programmes support basic education and child protection services for refugees, training and higher education, better access to healthcare, improved access to water and wastewater infrastructure, support to resilience, women empowerment and fighting gender based violence, as well as economic opportunities and social stability. The Fund can also support internally displaced persons in Iraq and actions in the Western Balkans.