Britain commits 275 million pounds to help Turkey handle refugees

LONDON - Britain has committed 275 million pounds (US$420 million) to a planned European Union fund designed to help Turkey accommodate the more than two million Syrian refugees it is hosting, the British government said on Friday.

Prime Minister David Cameron made the commitment during a summit in Malta this week which was aimed at seeking ways to stem a chaotic flow of migrants that threatens Europe's unity and open borders.

Spread over the next two years, the commitment will go towards helping Turkey support and improve conditions for refugees, a government spokesperson said.

Civil war in neighbouring Syria has forced millions to flee across the border, straining resources in countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Many of the displaced eventually seek passage to Europe, which is also struggling to cope with the influx of refugees.

Britain's pledge forms part of a 3 billion euro fund planned by the EU. Details on how the rest of fund will be structured have yet to be finalised.

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies (G20) are to meet on Sunday and Monday in Turkey to discuss economic issues, with Syria's war, migration and the fight against terrorism expected to force their way onto the agenda.