Thousands of refugees in Turkey seek debit aid cards

Over 150,000 refugees apply for EU-funded Kizilay cards in Turkey, the country with most number of Syrian refugees

Thousands of refugees in Turkey seek debit aid cards

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of refugees across Turkey have applied for special debit cards for refugees financed by the European Union and implemented by Kizilay, the Turkish Red Crescent Society.

Mehmet Gulluoglu, the Red Crescent’s director general, told Anadolu Agency that since Nov. 28 it has accepted over 150,000 applicants for the “Kizilay Cards,” following a deal between the EU and the Turkish government reached last March.

Gulluoglu said the program is the EU's largest ever-humanitarian program.

Last December "we started to distribute the cards. The number [to benefit from the cards] is expected to reach a million refugees with nearly €350 million [$373 million] in aid," he added. 

Working with Turkish and United Nations officials, the EU Humanitarian Aid Commission launched the program to curb migrant flows to the bloc and help Turkey's nearly 3 million refugees, most of them Syrian.

Turkey hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country in the world. The country has spent around $25 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

Under the program, each refugee registered by the regional migration office will be given 100 Turkish liras ($28.50) a month. 

The debit cards let refugees shop at merchants with Turkish Halkbank debit card machines and withdraw money from ATMs.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ocak 2017, 13:21