Thursday, 08 September 2016
The European Union will provide cash cards to fund the basic needs of up to a million Syrian refugees living in Turkey, the bloc's executive announced Thursday, calling the 348-million-euro (391-million-dollar) humanitarian aid scheme its biggest to date.
Working with Turkish and UN officials, the European Union said it will launch next month the programme to distribute EU-funded debit cards that will help up to one million of Turkey's nearly three million refugees, most of them Syrian.
"The refugees in need of humanitarian assistance will receive an electronic debit card," EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides told a press conference in Brussels to announce the plan.
"They will get monthly cash transfers to the card. And of course they will be able to buy what they need to put bread on the table for their families, to provide a roof for their families, to send their children to school instead of being forced to send them to work," he said.
Stylianides did not give details of how much each card would be worth.
He said the 348-million-euro-backed ($384 million) plan is aimed at "the most vulnerable" and was more dignified than offering food hand-outs and will also boost the economy of Turkish communities where the refugees live.On Friday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the bloc's neighbourhood policy commissioner, Johannes Hahn, will visit Ankara.
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