The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme agreed to join forces to strengthen the economic and social resilience of Syrians, their host communities and relevant national and local institutions in Turkey. The two year programme will focus on job creation, municipal services and Turkish language trainings in 11 provinces of Turkey.
With the new programme 2,000 Syrians and host community members are targeted to be employed; 1,000 Syrians and host community members will be supported in terms of innovation and business development and 52,000 Syrians benefit from adult language skills training. For the municipal services, the programme will develop waste management and waste water management facilities and infrastructure and support firefighting capacities of cities. Three municipalities will be supported in terms of increased technical capacities to deliver municipal services. Overall more than 307,000 Syrians in Turkey and host community members will benefit from improved municipal services through the project.
Activities under the project will be implemented in bordering provinces of Gaziantep, Hatay, Şanlıurfa and Kilis; as well as some other major cities of Turkey like Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Konya, Mersin and Manisa. The implementation of the project started on 1 February 2018.
The UNDP Turkey Resilience Project in response to the Syria Crisis (TRP) is supported by the EU Regional Trust Fund (EUTF) in response to the Syrian crisis with 50 million EUR. The Trust Fund overall has a volume of more than 1 billion euros. “Our objective is to provide a coherent and reinforced aid response to the Syrian crisis on a regional scale, responding primarily to the needs of refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries, as well as of the communities hosting the refugees and their administrations, in particular as regards resilience and early recovery.” said Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of EU Delegation in Turkey.
In addition to MADAD Fund, the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, with a total commitment of 3 billion euros, provides for a joint coordination mechanism, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities in Turkey are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
As of April 2018, Turkey hosts over 3,5 million Syrians under Temporary Protection. Syrians are mainly located in the Southeast Anatolia region bordering Syria, but as the crisis continues, the population has expanded to other regions as well. Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world and has demonstrated strong national ownership of the response. According to the Government of Turkey, it spent 30 billion USD over the last 6 years on the response to the Syria crisis.
91% of the Syrians in Turkey live in urban areas concentrated in the South-eastern provinces and the metropolitan areas of İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Bursa with significant impact on the local labour markets. The influx of Syrians into Turkey has resulted in an unprecedented demand for municipal services, including waste management, waste water management and fire-fighting services. Language is one of the main constraints for Syrians to have access to employment opportunities in Turkey.
UNDP has been the only UN agency in Turkey so far providing direct support to municipalities on municipal services, including waste and waste water management, both in terms of physical infrastructure development and technical support. UNDP support provided under previous projects, focussed primarily on the provision of equipment and infrastructure development. The new project expands these efforts by including new municipalities, a broader scope of municipal services and technical support.
UNDP, with funding from the EU, has provided language skills training for Syrians under previous projects. The new projects allow for a significant scale up of those efforts with a blended learning approach composed of in-classroom and online learning programme. The new project will also support access to the labour market for women and youth, contributing to their socio-economic empowerment.
“This newly signed project will be a part of UNDP’s ongoing Syrian Crisis Response and Resilience Programme, currently funded by the Government of Turkey, as well as Governments of Japan and Kuwait, US BPRM, KfW and the EU-Instrument for Stability.” said Claudio Tomasi, Country Director of UNDP in Turkey. “This programme so far included support to municipalities for service delivery including waste management, livelihoods support such as vocational training, the establishment of vocational training centre, value chain development as well as support on social cohesion and protection. The programme strongly builds on our longstanding work in the Southeast Anatolia region on social and economic empowerment.”
UNDP co-leads the coordination of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), including in Turkey, together with UNHCR. The Plan’s partners include UN agencies, Government and local partners as well as NGOs. The new EU funded project is designed in complementarity with this plan, with a particular focus on interventions in the sectors of livelihoods and basic needs. The overall programme is based on UNDP’s resilience based development approach which aims to reduce vulnerabilities and contribute to individuals, communities, local institutions to be able to cope with and recover from the large influx of Syrians under Temporary Protection.
The TRP project will be implemented by UNDP Turkey in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, İlbank and the Ministry of National Education. The main stakeholders of the project are local host and Syrian communities, local and national authorities of respective target municipalities, local and national CSOs.