Budget MEPs approved funds to provide an additional 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for third countries and humanitarian support to refugees in Turkey.
Members of the Committee on Budgets have adopted two draft reports by rapporteur Pierre Larrouturou (S&D, FR) recommending that Parliament approve the draft amending budgets 5/2021 and 6/2021. Both reports were adopted with 29 votes in favour, none against and no abstentions.
Humanitarian support to refugees in Turkey
The draft amending budget (DAB) Number 5 for the year 2021 aims to provide continued humanitarian support to the most vulnerable of the approximately 3.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey who fled the ongoing conflict that has been ravaging their country for over 10 years.
It constitutes the 2021 part of the package in favour of refugees from the Syria conflict and beyond, and their host communities. Its objective is to reinforce humanitarian aid to continue the Emergency Social Safety Net cash support programme in Turkey until early 2023 with €149.6 million (i.e. the remaining non-allocated funding available in 2021). Overall, the Commission estimates that €325 million will be needed. DAB 5 was agreed as part of the compromise package on the Budget 2022 conciliation.
MEPs however are concerned that “the continued support to refugees in Turkey was not factored in in the negotiations of the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) nor the NDICI-Global Europe instrument” and underline “that under current circumstances, the Union budget cannot be the sole source of funding for the continued support to refugees.”
200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses and emergency support for several countries
The DAB 6/2021 should ensure that the supplementary 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses pledged by the President of the Commission in her State of the Union speech are funded and delivered as a matter of urgency to low and lower-middle income third countries, by adding €450 million to the relevant budget line. Speeding up the global vaccination campaign has been a strong request of Parliament.
Another purpose of DAB 6/2021 is to strengthen the Union's Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM/rescEU) by an additional €57.8 million for evacuations from Afghanistan, operations in Haiti following the recent earthquake and fighting forest fires and consequences of floods in Europe.
Parliament’s plenary will vote on the draft amending budgets 5/2021 and 6/2021 during the session taking place from 22-25 November.