The European Parliament on Thursday gave the final green light for extending a cash-assistance program for the vulnerable Syrian refugees in Turkey.
With 588 votes in favor, 87 against and 14 abstentions, EU lawmakers approved an amendment to the bloc’s 2021 budget that allocated €149.6 million ($170 million) extra funding for Syrian refugees in Turkey, the European Parliament announced.
The financial support will extend the bloc’s multi-purpose cash assistance scheme which provides monthly transfers for the most vulnerable refugees to cover essential needs of rent, bills, food, and medicine.
The Emergency Social Safety Net is the biggest humanitarian program in the bloc’s history, which has helped 1.8 million people.
Without the decision, the program would have ended through early 2022, but the additional €149.6 million financed from the remaining margin of the 2021 budget will prolong it.
However, the extended scheme will require in total €325 million through early 2023, according to the European Commission’s estimates.
The EU member states already approved the extension of the humanitarian aid in September.
Turkey is the largest host country for Syrian refugees, providing protection to nearly 4 million people who fled the civil war, more than any other country in the world.