Largest EU humanitarian programme provides aid to 1.4 million refugees in Turkey
Two years after the launch of the largest humanitarian relief programme in European Union (EU) history, it has provided aid to around 1.4 million refugees in Turkey. This programme, the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable of the refugee families every month.
According to a report by the World Food Programme (WFP), the ESSN is funded entirely from the EU’s Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT) and generously supported by EU citizens through the Member States’ contribution. 87.5 per cent of funding in 2018 goes directly to the refugees in need, the WFP reported.
Turkey is currently home to the largest refugee population in the world, housing just over four million refugees. The ESSN provides monthly transfers through debit cards to one million of the most vulnerable of those refugees. Those who receive assistance can use that money to buy things such as food, water, and fuel or to pay their bills.
WFP Executive Director David Beasley explained the significance of this programme:
“In the two years since its launch, the Emergency Social Safety Net programme has grown to be the largest of its kind in United Nations history. But more important than its size is the impact it makes on the real people it serves…This programme is now a model for how we can help people in protracted crises around the world.”
The ESSN programme was launched in December 2016 and is funded until the end of January 2019 thanks to a contribution of €1 billion from the EU. The organisations involved hope that the program continues to meet their goals of helping vulnerable refugees meet their basic needs, reducing household debt, and allowing families to regain financial control and independence.
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Photo Credit: ESSN