The Malta Independent 14 December 2018, Friday

'Avoiding forced migration by assisting populations in place of origin remains priority' - Sant

Thursday, 12 July 2018, 11:00 Last update: about 5 months ago

Maltese MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that avoiding forced migration by assisting populations in their place of origin remains a priority.  Dr Sant’s intervention came when he explained why he voted in favour of a Report which recommends the draft amending budget aimed at mobilising 500 million in order to finance the largest part of the 2018 budget dedicated to the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. This funding will be mainly dedicated to the education of Syrian refugee school children in Turkey.

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The Maltese MEP said the mobilised sum of EUR 500 million is necessary to allow for the continuation of the schooling of refugee children in Turkey. Knowing how easily Turkey’s refugee situation could spill over to the EU, any assistance on the matter should be given priority.

The Facility for Refugees in Turkey is the EU answer to support refugees in an immediate country of transit. This funding is also crucial for any hope of success with present EU asylum policy. Providing the necessary funding to provide the basic needs and opportunities for refugees in Turkey, especially refugee children, is essential. The Turkey model with its achievements could provide the right direction where this is not possible.

The main focus areas are humanitarian assistance, education, migration management, health, municipal infrastructure, and socio-economic support. According to the United Nations, Turkey currently hosts over 3.5 million registered Syrian refugees and is making commendable efforts to provide them with humanitarian aid and support.

The report was adopted with 548 votes in favour, 70 against and 61 abstentions.

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