Turkey, EU start project to keep refugee kids at schools

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Turkey, the European Union and UNICEF have formally launched an EU-funded project to encourage Syrians and other refugees in Turkey to enroll their children in schools and prevent them from dropping out.

Under the program, officially inaugurated on Thursday, families are to receive conditional cash payments in return for sending and keeping their children in school.

As many as 56,000 refugee children are registered in the program since it was rolled out in Brussels in March. Authorities hope to reach 230,000 children by the end of the year.

Christos Stylianides, the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, said: "education ... is the best way to prevent lost generations, it is a strong shield against radicalization against forced recruitment and forced marriages."

Turkey is home to 3.2 million refugees, mostly Syrians.