UNICEF and EU announce third phase of “Conditional Cash Transfer for Education” (CCTE) Programme for Refugee Children in Türkiye

“Education is the light and all children need that light.”

28 January 2021
child at school

Ankara, 29 January 2021 – “Education is the light and all children need that light.” These are the words of Esra, a 9-year old Syrian girl whose family received support through the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) programme for Syrian and other refugee children in Türkiye. UNICEF and the European Union (EU) announced the third phase of the programme, which will now continue through May 2022. Since its launch in 2017, the CCTE programme has helped keep nearly 670,000 Syrian and other refugee children in school by providing their families with bi-monthly cash payments. Thanks to the financial support of the EU, the CCTE programme will be able to reach a total of 700,000 school-aged refugee children by the end of the third phase.

The third phase of the programme will be implemented with an additional grant of €81.5 million from the EU, bringing the total funding provided by the EU for the CCTE programme to refugee children to €239 million.

CCTE is a national social assistance programme, implemented by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services since 2003, which was extended to Syrian and other refugee families with the support of the EU in 2017. The programme aims to encourage enrolment and improve school attendance of children. The CCTE programme for Refugees also includes an important child protection component, which supports the identification and assessment of the most vulnerable refugee children and their referral to complementary child protection services to help ensure their regular school attendance.

Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative to Türkiye, declared: “For refugee children and their families, realizing the right to education is often an enormous challenge. In Türkiye, the CCTE programme continues to be an excellent model of how to leverage national systems to remove barriers preventing vulnerable children from continuing their education. Building on strategic partnerships, this third phase of the CCTE programme will continue supporting more children and families in their pursuit of a better future. UNICEF is grateful for the commitment of the Government of Türkiye and the generous financial support of the EU to this important programme, which makes a difference in the lives of so many children.”

European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “The CCTE programme in Türkiye is a success story, it continues to have a real impact on the lives of school children and their families. Ensuring access to safe quality education for the most vulnerable refugee children is one of the EU’s priorities, because having the possibility to learn is not a privilege – it’s a right for every child.”


The extension of the national CCTE programme to refugee children is implemented through a partnership between the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, the Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Red Crescent Society, and UNICEF. It has been made possible with the financial support of the European Union, as well as other donors such as the Governments of Norway and the United States.


About EU Humanitarian Aid

The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations department (ECHO), the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

For more information, please visit the European Commission's website.

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Press Contacts:

  • Sema Hosta, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Türkiye, +90 533 622 8346, shosta@unicef.org
  • Lisa Hastert, Regional Information Officer, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) Ankara, +90-5334125663, Lisa.Hastert@echofield.eu  


Media contacts

Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Turkey
Tel: +90 533 622 8346


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org– www.unicef.org.tr
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