UNICEF and EU mark milestone in support to Syrian children in Turkey

UNICEF-EU-Closure-Ceremony-The closing ceremony of the two-year “Increasing Resilience of Syrian Children under Temporary Protection in Turkey” Project was held in Ankara on 15 April 2015. The project was implemented in partnership between UNICEF, AFAD, the Ministry of National Education and the Turkish Red Crescent with the generous financial support of the European Union.

Launched in March 2013, the project aimed to increase the resilience of Syrian children who make up over half of the 1.7 million Syrians living in Turkey. The setting up of child friendly spaces, temporary education centers and libraries, the provision of psychosocial support to children and youth, the establishment of a financial incentive system for Syrian teachers and leadership trainings for adolescents are among the key achievements of this partnership.

Bela Szombati, Chargé d’affaires a. i. of the Delegation of the European Union (EUD) said: “The project is a good example of solidarity and commitment to support Turkey with funding from the European Union and implementation by UNICEF. It is also a demonstration that the conditions of refugees can be improved through common will and joint efforts, and therefore is both an incentive and an encouragement to continue and broaden our cooperation” in his speech he delivered in the name of EU.

UNICEF Representative in Turkey Philippe Duamelle declared: “The assistance that has been provided under this project is vital to prevent the loss of a generation of Syrian children. It is crucial to continue investing in their future by giving them opportunities to access quality education, to learn in a safe environment, and receive psychosocial support.”

The two-year project benefited over 75.000 children directly. It was equally notable for the emphasis it placed on strengthening systems. For example, a complementary education management system for Syrian children (YOBIS) was developed and psycho-social support for children was placed at the centre of the emergency response.