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PICS: 850,000 migrants in Turkey Paid Cash by European Union

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A European Union official says more than 850,000 people are now benefiting from a EU-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey.

The program, billed as the EU’s largest humanitarian program, provides debit cards to the most disadvantaged families allowing them to buy food and meet other needs.

It was launched last year following an agreement in which the EU pledged 3 billion euros to help Syrian migrants in Turkey in return for Turkish assistance in curbing illegal migration to Europe.

Jane Lewis, head of the EU humanitarian aid office in Turkey, said Friday that the program aims to assist 1.3 million refugees by the end of the year.

Turkey hosts more than 3 million mostly-Syrian refugees.

Jane Lewis, head of the EU humanitarian aid office in Turkey, speaks to the media at a Turkish government social aid center in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. A European Union official says more than 850,000 people are now benefiting from a EU-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Refugees wait at a Turkish government social aid center in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. A European Union official says more than 850,000 people are now benefiting from a EU-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

A refugee woman shows her debit card at a Turkish government social aid center in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. A European Union official says more than 850,000 people are now benefiting from a EU-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most vulnerable refugee families in Turkey.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

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