The European Union announced on Tuesday that it would give Turkey $3.1 billion to ensure that the needs of refugees are met in the country, which currently hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees in the world.
"In dealing with the refugee crisis, it is absolutely clear that the European Union needs to step up its cooperation with Turkey and Turkey with the European Union," European Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans said in a statement on Tuesday.
Grants and financial support from the $3.1 billion Refugee Facility for Turkey will be provided as of Jan. 1, 2016.
Faced with the worst refugee crisis since World War II, the EU began negotiating with Turkey on a refugee action plan, under which the 28-nation bloc has offered Turkey funds to reduce the flow of asylum seekers coming into Europe in exchange for facilitated visa rules for Turkish citizens seeking to visit Europe.
"We both need to work together, and to implement the Joint Action Plan which will bring order into migratory flows and help to stem irregular migration," Timmermans said.
Turkey, which has spent about $8.5 billion since 2011 supporting more than two million Syrian refugees, will be asked to take further measures to reduce the number of people trying to reach Europe.
More than 150,000 people crossed from Turkey to Greece last month, compared with more than 8,500 in October 2014, according to EU’s border agency, Frontex.
By Ilgın Karlıdağ
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