21:29 GMT +322 January 2018
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    Syrian refugees stand inside the Moria camp during the demostration against the deal between EU and Turkey, on March 24, 2016 in Lesbos.

    EU to Contract $3.5Bln for Refugee Support by End of 2017

    © AFP 2018/ Fabio Bucciarelli
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    The European Union is on track to contract 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) from a special fund to support refugees in Turkey by the end of 2017.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The EU is expected to contract all 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) from a special fund to support refugees in Turkey by the end of 2017, EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said Wednesday.

    "In Turkey, the EU is well on track to contract the 3 billion [euro] under the Facility for Refugees by the end of 2017. One million of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees are now receiving monthly electronic cash transfers, and almost two million will soon be able to benefit from healthcare," Avramopoulos said.

    In early June, Christian Berger, the head of the EU delegation to Turkey, said that the bloc would contribute 3 billion euros by the end of 2017 for the implementation of the EU-Turkey migrant deal with Turkey.

    The deal was reached by Brussels and Ankara in March 2016 amid the dire migration crisis the European Union is facing. In return for Turkey’s assistance, the European Union vowed to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid, introduce a visa-free regime, as well as provide financial aid to Turkey to cover the costs of migrant reception.

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