EU 'in same boat' with Turkey

Fri 08 December 2017 13:24 GMT | 13:24 Local Time

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A European Commissioner said on Friday EU-Turkey cooperation in civil protection "remains solid".

Christos Stylianides, a Greek Cypriot politician who is the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, was speaking to Turkish journalists in Brussels.

Stylianides said the EU and Turkey "are in the same boat" while struggling to solve their common problems and "need each other”.

"Our joint work has presented significant results. [...] Thanks to the EU's largest humanitarian aid program, we could help 1.1 million refugees in Turkey," Stylianides said.

He added that they "have reached more than 255,000 children so far" as part of education projects.

Stressing that Turkey is hosting over three million refugees, Stylianides said EU-Turkey cooperation in the humanitarian field "made real differences".

While Turkey has spent $30 billion to help shelter refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the EU promised in 2015 to grant €3 billion ($3.5 billion) to Turkey for the refugee crisis.

However, the bloc said in November that it had disbursed nearly €908 million ($1 billion) to aid refugees in Turkey; Stylianides said that €2.9 billion ($3.37 billion) has been allocated.

The Commissioner claimed that the full amount of the package will be allocated by the end of this year.




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