EU envoy praises Turkey’s education efforts for Syrians

The head of the EU delegation to Turkey on Thursday praised the country's efforts in providing education to Syrian refugees.

Christian Berger said Turkey's Ministry of National Education and Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) have shown immense commitment to the provision of education to more than 500,000 children from Syria.

He made the remarks during a ground-breaking ceremony of 60 schools across Turkey in the southern Osmaniye province.

Turkey's Ministry of National Education integrated nearly half a million Syrian children into the education system in the 2016-2017 academic year, according to official data.

This accounts for almost 60 percent of school-aged Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey.

"The EU has been supporting Turkey right from the beginning of this crisis. We used our pre-accession funds for supporting Turkey and then increased substantially our support by setting up a specialized facility in support of refugees hosted in Turkey," he said.

Berger said that the EU will support 150 schools for the refugees, while stressing the need to find solutions to the Syrian crisis.

Together with Turkey we have been trying to alleviate suffering [of the refugees]. The EU together with Turkey is trying to find a political solution to the conflict [in Syria], he said.

He appreciated Turkey's role in also providing the refugees health services.

Turkey hosts 3.2 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

Ankara has spent $25 billion in helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since 2011. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by the conflict and millions more displaced, according to UN figures.

Source: Anadolu Agency