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Oct 17, 10:32 AM EDT

EU: 1 million refugees in Turkey receive cash assistance


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Officials say a European Union-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey has reached 1 million beneficiaries a year after its launch.

The program provides debit cards to the most disadvantaged families, allowing them to buy food and meet other needs.

Billed as the EU's largest humanitarian project, it was launched following an agreement between Turkey and the EU in which the bloc pledged 3 billion euros to help Syrian migrants in Turkey in return for Turkish assistance in curbing illegal migration to Europe.

Christof Stylianides, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, said Tuesday: "We have made a difference for a staggering 1 million people already." He was in Turkey to mark the milestone.

Turkey hosts more than 3 million mostly-Syrian refugees.

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