Statement by Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, in response to the European Union’s announcement of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN).
ROME – “The Emergency Social Safety Net is an exciting step forward. Turkey has robust and well-functioning markets, so it makes sense to give cash that refugees can use to pay for food, rent and medicine, enable children to go to school rather than to work, and buy warm clothes as winter approaches.
“This €348 million will make a major difference to the lives of one million people. It will lessen the suffering but also restore some normality to children, women and men whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict and displacement.
“With support from the European Union and its member states, we will help the most vulnerable as they make crucial, everyday life decisions.
“This partnership with the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) shows what can be achieved when we all pull together. WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent will use their combined expertise to deliver European cash directly to those who need it most.
“We will work closely with the Government of Turkey, and the money spent by the refugees will go directly into local economies, giving a boost to communities so generously hosting refugees. WFP has been working in Turkey since 2012, supporting the government to bring vital help to Syrian refugees. We now look forward to growing our already excellent ties with the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, as the ESSN rolls out to reach more vulnerable people.”
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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