Challenges in Assessing EU Funding Impact for Syrian Refugees in Turkey

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Inadequate Impact Assessment

Inadequate Impact Assessment

European Union auditors raised concerns on Wednesday about the lack of evidence to verify the effectiveness of the billions of euros provided to Turkey to assist with Syrian refugees. The EU allocated €6 billion to Turkey in a 2016 agreement to manage the influx of migrants from Syria, with an additional €3 billion pledged in 2021. Despite these substantial funds, the auditors found challenges in determining the actual impact of the aid.

Educational Support for Refugees

Educational Support for Refugees

One of the key areas of EU funding in Turkey is directed towards supporting the education of Syrian refugees. The European Commission earmarked at least €530 million to enhance the quality of education for refugees in Turkey. This funding is intended for various purposes such as teacher salaries, educational resources, language training, and counseling services. However, auditors faced obstacles in obtaining crucial data from Turkey’s education ministry to assess the success of these educational initiatives.

Key Findings:

  • The education ministry in Turkey declined to provide essential information necessary for impact evaluation.
  • Auditors were unable to confirm the number of schools receiving EU support and the attendance of refugee students.
  • Data on the reintegration of out-of-school children and their academic performance compared to Turkish students was not available.

“We are not able to conclude on measuring impact or sustainability of the education projects underwritten by the EU without the necessary data,” emphasized ECA member Bettina Jakobsen.

While the EU funding package has generally supported refugees and host communities in Turkey, the lack of comprehensive assessment of project budgets and costs was highlighted by the auditors. Despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and economic instability in the region, the auditors acknowledged the relevance of the EU’s support but urged for more transparency and accountability in evaluating the impact of the aid.

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