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EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis
Press release6 December 2016Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations3 min read

EU Syria Trust Fund: new package of €139 million for refugees in Lebanon and stabilisation needs in Iraq

The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis adopted a new €139 million assistance package to help refugees fleeing the war in Syria and their overstretched host communities.

A special stabilisation package for Iraq is also included. The board meeting of the Trust Fund brought together the European Commission, EU Member States, representatives of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, as well as international financial institutions.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: "We are delivering on our commitment to support refugees and host communities across the region. With this new package we are well on track to meet our ambitious target to mobilise 1 billion for the EU Syria Trust Fund and - with the latest contributions and pledges from our Member States and the EU budget - I expect we shall actually exceed 1.2 billion by early 2017. This funding will secure better healthcare, education and economic opportunities for those affected by the Syrian conflict, bringing more stability to the region and beyond''.

Today's package includes the following actions:

€82 million for Lebanon

  •          €62 million Health Programme for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese populations to increase access to quality, equitable and affordable health care services. The project will furthermore increase capacities of primary and secondary health sectors, and provide equal access to health services for refugees and host communities.
  •          €20 million Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme for Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities. The project will improve access to efficient and sustainable safe water supply, environmental sanitation and hygiene in Lebanon for vulnerable populations.

Through the adoption of the above programmes, the EU is also implementing commitments it undertook within the recently agreed EU-Lebanon Compact aimed at supporting Lebanon to address the impact of the Syrian crisis while ensuring better living conditions for refugees and vulnerable Lebanese communities. 

€50 million for Iraq

  •          A multi-project action will foster socio-economic opportunities towards stabilisation. The programme will significantly scale up the EU's contribution to stabilising Iraq especially in areas liberated from ISIL/Da'esh so that displaced populations can return to their homes. The focus is on demining and creating economic opportunities and livelihoods.

€6.85 million in support of concessional loans and effective monitoring:

  •          €5 million are provided for the EU contribution to the MENA Concessional Financing Facility for Jordan and Lebanon (CFF) led by the World Bank in order to support alternative investment resources for Jordan and Lebanon.
  •          €1.85 million will bemade available for a multi-tierexternal monitoring and evaluation mechanism to continuously check the performance of the EU Trust Fund in real time. The mechanism will intervene at project level and country level aggregating results into an overall performance check for the Trust Fund.


The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis

Since its first Board meeting in May 2015, an increasing share of the EU's non-humanitarian aid to help Syria's neighbouring countries is provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian crisis. The Trust Fund brings a more coherent and integrated EU response to the crisis and primarily addresses longer term resilience needs of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, as well as assisting overstretched host communities and their administrations.

Including today's decisions, a total of €767 million have already been allocated by the Trust Fund to concrete assistance programmes for refugees and host communities in the region. These programmes support basic education and child protection, training and higher education, better access to healthcare, improved water and waste-water infrastructure, as well as support to resilience, economic opportunities and social inclusion.

In today's board meetings, the Trust Fund welcomed Spain as the 22nd Member State contributing as a donor with €3 million. The Trust Fund is open to other international donors. Turkey has provided almost €25 million in co-financing for reoriented funds from the pre-accession financing instrument. The scope of the Fund also includes support to internally displaced persons in Iraq fleeing from the interlinked Syria/Iraq/Da'esh crisis, and to provide support in the Western Balkans to non-EU countries affected by the refugee crisis.

For more information