Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Humanitarian Aid

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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48. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the change of status to the EU-Turkey migration deal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3696/20]

Photo of Ciarán CannonCiarán Cannon (Galway East, Fine Gael)
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The Agreement reached between Turkey and the EU in March 2016 represented a landmark effort to respond to the migration crisis and the loss of many hundreds of lives in the Aegean Sea.

A key element of the EU-Turkey Deal was the establishment of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey.  The aim of this Facility is to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey and to bring about long-term sustainable improvements in their health, education and self-reliance. A total of €6 billion, in two tranches of €3 billion, has been mobilised from the EU budget and Member State resources and had been fully committed to specific programmes by the end of 2019, as foreseen. Ireland’s contribution is €38.34 million. Payments under the first tranche are due to continue until 2021 and under the second tranche until 2025.

The issue of a possible further extension of the Facility is currently being considered. Given the scale of humanitarian needs in Turkey, Ireland is supportive of continuing EU efforts to assist in meeting these needs.

While recent events on the Greek-Turkish border have highlighted some of the real difficulties with the implementation of the terms of the Agreement, both the EU and Turkey have reiterated their commitment to its continued implementation. It is essential that the EU-Turkey Agreement is upheld and that Greece, and other States on the EU's external borders, are not left alone.

On the wider migration issue, Ireland has consistently called for all EU Member States to play their part in burden sharing and helping to relieve pressure on frontline Member States. It is essential that we find a consensus based on solidarity and responsibility.


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