Skip to main content
European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article18 June 2021


Unheard stories

The Facility for Refugees in Turkey is hosting a one-week online film festival, starting on World Refugee Day, featuring films highlighting the lives of refugees and available to stream throughout Belgium from 20 June to 26 June. Films include documentaries and live action productions, including short, -medium and full-length entries.

“A very warm welcome to the EU’s “Unheard Stories” online film festival, kicking off on World Refugee Day, and featuring films highlighting some of the many unheard stories of refugees living around the world. Many of the films focus on the stories of Syrian refugees, including those living in Turkey, the country hosting the largest refugee population in the world. The EU is highly invested in supporting refugees and host communities in Turkey, by providing humanitarian assistance, access to education, health and protection services, as well as investing in municipal infrastructure, skills development and job creation. There are over 100 projects on the ground in Turkey, a clear testimony of EU solidarity with refugees. The central mechanism to coordinate this support is the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, which has been implementing projects in support of refugees since 2016. Many of the challenges and lived experiences of refugees in hosting countries are explored in the films on display here. The featured stories underline some of the common experiences of refugees, while highlighting individual voices.

I hope you enjoy the films!

Maciej Popowski, acting Director General, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

Films highlighting the lives of refugees

The "Unheard Stories" online film festival features films exploring refugees' challenges and lived experiences in host countries, while highlighting individual stories. These speak of various aspects of refugees’ lives, for example, their journeys of establishing themselves in new and previously foreign places, their obstacles and hurdles in building a new life while maintaining their identity in a new country, as well as their experiences building new relationships and taking on new challenges.

Additional content:

  • An online live talk with implementing partners under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey will take place on Monday, 21 June at 13h00 (CET). It will be live-streamed on the official festival website as well as DG NEAR’s Facebook page. Implementing partners will discuss their experiences implementing projects on the ground in Turkey for the benefit of refugees and host communities. These include the Turkish Ministry of Labour, CONCERN, IFRC, and UNHCR.
  • The festival website will also include Q&A sections with a selection of directors of the featured films.


The Facility for Refugees is a key component of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement. It marks a significant scaling-up of EU support to refugees in Turkey.

The Facility combines €3 billion of EU budget and €3 billion of EU Member States contributions. The first tranche of €3 billion was mobilised in 2016-2017, and the second one in 2018-2019. Since 2016, the EU has been working with Turkish Ministries, EU Member States’ development banks, international financial institutions, UN agencies and NGOs to implement more than 100 refugee projects in Turkey.

Turkey has been hosting around 4 million refugees, the largest refugee community in the world. This includes 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees, and 330 000 registered refugees and asylum seekers mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Somalia. Turkey continues to make commendable efforts to receive, support, and host refugees and migrants, who have had a significant impact on the host communities. At present, there is no prospect this situation will change any time soon.

Therefore, the EU announced in July 2020 an additional €485 million to ensure the continuation of assistance. This amount comes on top of the €6 billion under the Facility. Turkey also continues to benefit from regular EU humanitarian assistance for refugees, which amounted to €50 million in 2020.

Furthermore, the March 2021 European Council invited the Commission to present a proposal to the Council for the continuation of financing for Syrian refugees in Turkey as well as Jordan, Lebanon and other parts of the region, which will be discussed at the European Council on 24-25 June.

For More Information

2016 EU-Turkey Statement

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey

Factsheet on the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey

Fifth Annual Report on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

Overview of projects under the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey


Publication date
18 June 2021