The Trust Fund has two overall objectives:
- Help refugees thrive, not just survive, and thus foster more self-reliance.
- Assist host countries and communities, in particular vulnerable people, in managing their additional economic and social costs.
Economies of scale and the pooling of funds have been key EU added values. The Trust fund has also been effective by following several agreed principles:
- Flexibility enabling quick support.
- Bridging humanitarian and development aid.
- Strategic partnerships with donors, host countries, and cooperation partners, through an inclusive Board of Governors.
- Critical mass and efficiency by pooling EU and other donor funds.
- Adaptable to shifting needs and new developments in the region.
The Trust Fund offers a nexus between humanitarian relief and development aid by simultaneously addressing early recovery and relief and supporting host countries with longer-term investments in various sectors.
The Trust Fund has been the key instrument for the delivery of the EU's pledges made at the London conference on Syria in 2016. It has evolved with the priorities of the ensuing Brussels I-V conferences on the Future of Syria and the Region in April 2017 and 2018, March 2019, June 2020 and March 2021. The sixth one is planned for May 2022.
The Trust Fund Board established and reviewed the overall strategy of the Trust Fund. The Operational Board decided the allocation of funds to individual actions. Their composition and voting rights are detailed in the Trust Fund's revised Constitutive Agreement.
Selection Process and Framework
Trust Fund Managers proposed projects to fund in an Action Document, which described the project and its intended results, how it was identified, why it is needed, and sometimes by whom it will be implemented. The Operational Board of the Trust Fund reviewed, discussed and approved projects.
The selection was based on needs assessments and in line with national refugee response plans, the EU Compacts with Jordan and Lebanon, as well as the regional refugee response plan (3RP). The Trust Fund was in close dialogue with hosting country authorities and other stakeholders to identify projects to fund. The Trust Fund is also aligned with the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework adopted in 2016 as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, leading towards a new Global Compact on Refugees.
The Trust Fund prioritises projects with several organisations working together. This leads to bigger programmes and more coordination among implementing partners. The range of partners is wide: EU Member State authorities and development agencies, international and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations, the UN family, financial institutions, host country authorities, as well as private sector entities.
Actions financed by the Trust Fund are implemented in accordance with applicable EU rules and regulations