The latest aid is part of a 70 million-euro package extended by Brussels to Turkey. The ten million euros are specifically for humanitarian emergency work while the rest is for longer-term projects including education.
The European Union on Tuesday announced 10 million euros ($12.3 million) in new humanitarian aid for Syrian civilians in Turkey and Syria.
“Today, we are stepping up our assistance to the people of Syria and to the Turkish communities hosting Syrian refugees,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.
“Europe stands firmly with Turkey and is determined to play its role to the full to bring a lasting political solution to this regional crisis and humanitarian strategy.”
Mogherini, who took office in November, visited refugee camps at the border on Tuesday a day after meeting with Turkey’s leaders in Ankara.
With a population of almost 75 million, Turkey has taken in 1.7 million Syrian refugees since the Syrian conflict began in 2011 but only a small portion of them are living in refugee camps – which are now at full capacity – and the rest are fending for themselves.
The latest aid is part of a 70 million-euro package extended by Brussels to Turkey, an EU official told AFP. The ten million euros are specifically for humanitarian emergency work while the rest is for longer-term projects including in education, she added.
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the EU has contributed 187.5 million euros to support refugees in Turkey fleeing the bloody war.
The bulk of the resources allocated early on in the crisis has targeted refugees in camps, but in 2014 the focus has primarily been to support refugees living outside camps, in particular new arrivals.
According to the UN, about 13.6 million people, equivalent to the population of London, have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, many without food or shelter as winter starts.
Amnesty International announced last week that wealthy nations have only taken in a “pitiful” number of the millions of refugees uprooted by Syria’s conflict, placing the burden on the country’s ill-equipped neighbors.
“Around 3.8 million refugees from Syria are being hosted in five main countries within the region: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt,” said Amnesty.
“Only 1.7 percent of this number have been offered sanctuary by the rest of the world,” the rights group added.
Lebanon with a population of four million hosts about 2 million Syrian refugees, making the country the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world, with one in four residents a refugee.
The refugees, scattered across the Lebanese territories, live mainly in squalid informal camps and tents, and lack basic means of livelihood as they struggle to make ends meet even with international aid.
Moreover, refugees across the region face increasing tension with host communities angry about the strain that the refugee influx has put on sparse local resources.
The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) suspended aid early December to more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in countries neighboring Syria.
More than 800,000 refugee in Lebanon were receiving WFP food voucher support.