Press release…

FAO Turkey organized the second Project Steering Committee Meeting for the Syrian Response project. The meeting discussed ISKUR Service Points to increase employment among beneficiaries…

25 January 2021; Ankara, Turkey – Despite ongoing difficulties linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, FAO Turkey is working closely with its counterparts in the Turkish Government to implement the project and its activities, in order to address the current challenging situation.

The Second Project Steering Committee Meeting of the EU-funded project for Syrian Refugees and host communities  took place online on 25 January, with the participation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, and the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey.

Dr. Ayşegül Selışık, Assistant FAO Representative in Turkey, explained that despite the COVID-19 restrictions, impressive progress has been made on the project. She noted that “to date, 1 136 beneficiaries, 820 of whom were women, have undergone Vocational Training”.

Dr. Ayşegül Selışık

Ozge Imamoglu, Head of Department, DG European Union, and Foreign Relations, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, underlined the importance of meetings for obtaining “one-on-one feedback from real project practitioners”. He added, “If our provincial directors directly convey to us every problem and development they experience, this will help us make more accurate planning both for the success of this project and subsequent projects.”

Öztüm Tümer, Head of Department, DG International Labour Force, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, explained that “Despite COVID-19’s restrictive conditions, we are very happy with the progress of the project. Now we have work to do to establish ISKUR Service Points and increase employment opportunities. We believe that by maintaining close cooperation, we will achieve the goals set in this regard”.

“This project is a project that we care about very much”, emphasized Feyhan Fethiye Canbay, Socioeconomic Development Programme Manager of the EU Delegation. “Especially the refugees part. As a delegation, we pay particular attention to its effectiveness, and are open to broad cooperation to this end. We also believe that this process will be more effective after the pandemic. In our observations in the field we have witnessed the success of the project, and despite the crisis we are very happy with the results so far. Although many projects have come to a standstill, the success we have achieved in this FAO project is really gratifying.”

In the first year, the EU-funded project aimed to strengthen the resilience and socio-economic integration of Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTP) and vulnerable host communities of Turkey through support to agricultural livelihoods and access to employment in the agrifood sector. The Steering Committee members were informed about the progress of the project and future activities including mitigation measures related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The first year also saw important achievements. Within the scope of the project 48 Vocational Training courses have been implemented, and 1 136 beneficiaries successfully graduated. In addition, 31 Farmer Field Schools opened their doors to local entrepreneurs and producers, and provided expert training on entrepreneurship and advanced agricultural techniques to 775 beneficiaries. In order to increase employment opportunities, consultation meetings were held with the private sector in 10 provinces where the project was implemented. The next step will be to increase employment through job fairs.

The meeting also focused on ISKUR Service Points, ten of which focusing on agricultural employment have been established in project provinces to facilitate employment for the project beneficiaries. The meeting participants discussed the working modalities of these Service Points and the committee decided to hold a workshop to increase their technical capacity.

About İsmail Uğural

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