This week, the Canadian government announced new initiatives to support security measures and increase disaster risk management in the ASEAN region. The European Commission, meanwhile, announced additional support for Turkey in response to the ongoing the Syrian refugee crisis.
The Canadian government in the ASEAN region
The Canadian government announced seven new security and safety initiatives totaling over $13 million during Monday’s annual conference with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane, Laos.
The seven projects support initiatives across the ASEAN region to enhance counterterrorism measures, prevent, deter and combat human smuggling, strengthen biological and nuclear security, and bolster resilience against humanitarian disasters.
Programs to be funded include:
• A $9 million investment over the next three years to combat terrorism by providing further training to law enforcement officials and strengthening border security.
• Up to $2.2 million over two years to support Canada’s anti-crime capacity building program for Southeast Asia to prevent, deter and combat human smuggling through investigative training and enhanced document examination.
• Technical assistance worth $385,000 for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to help institutionalize disaster risk management in the investment planning processes of secondary cities and towns under the Second Greater Mekong Subregion Corridor Towns Development Project.
European Commission in Turkey
The EU Commission announced Thursday that it has adopted a special measure for immediate response to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, committing 1.4 billion euros ($1.55 billion) to support both refugees and host communities in Turkey. The funding is part of the commission’s Facility for Refugees which aims to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities in Turkey are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. The indicative budget for this facility is 3 billion euros for 2016-2017.
The special measure, meanwhile, will be divided into three funding strands that will address urgent needs in the 10 provinces that are most affected by the crisis. The first strand will provide direct grants to the Turkish Directorate General for Migration Management (60 million euros), Ministry of National Education (300 million euros), and Ministry of Health (300 million euros) to cover the operational costs of providing access to education and healthcare services for Syrian refugees and their children.
The second strand will provide financial support for municipal infrastructure, as well as education and health-related infrastructure in host communities, while also providing socio-economic support for refugees. This strand will be implemented in collaboration with other international financial institutions.
European Investment Bank, World Bank, International Finance Corp. and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau will prioritize socio-economic support with a 100 million euro commitment. EIB and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development will allot 200 million euros for municipal infrastructure. World Bank and KfW will focus on educational infrastructure with 200 million euros while the Council of Europe Development Bank will prioritize health infrastructure will 40 million euros.
Meanwhile the third strand includes an allocation of 250 million euros for the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (EUTF). The additional financing will allow the trust fund to continue providing bottom-up support for refugees and host communities. The special measure also includes a 25 million euro allocation toward building a project pipeline for potential future projects under the commission’s refugee facility.
In the last four months, the EU Commission has mobilized support exceeding 2 billion euros to support refugees in Turkey. In addition to these humanitarian aid projects, the commission published in June the Humanitarian Implementation Plan for Turkey, which opened up 506 million euros of uncontracted funding from the facility’s budget.
Turkey currently hosts more than 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees.