Press release…

The meeting organized within the framework of FAO’s Syrian Refugee Resilience Plan (SRRP) discussed ways for partners to share know-how, experience and expertise to promote sustainable livelihoods.

6 July 2021, Ankara – The high-level meeting held in Ankara was organized by FAO Turkey and featured the participation of key representatives from donor organizations and international partners including the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the Embassy of Japan in Turkey, German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ), and national partners such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and various other organizations active in the refugee response field.

The main objective of the meeting was to inform participants about FAO’s global efforts in the field of emergency and resilience, drawing on exemplary models from FAO’s Syrian Refugee Resilience Plan (SRRP), and to discuss with current and emerging partners ways to capitalize on collective know-how, experience and expertise to ensure sustainable livelihoods for Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) and host communities in Turkey, with a focus on the agriculture and food sectors.

Viorel Gutu

In his opening remarks, the Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey, Viorel Gutu, expressed his pleasure at having the opportunity to address all the partners who play a leading role in the Syrian Response Programme. “With the generous financial support of the European Union, UNHCR, the Government of Japan and GIZ, FAO has implemented ten successful projects under the Syrian Refugee Resilience Plan since 2017”, he explained. “FAO further intends to strengthen its efforts to create long-term sustainable solutions for SuTPs and host communities that make possible agricultural livelihoods.” Mr Gutu finished by noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has created and heightened many challenges around food security and social protection, but that these could be overcome if all partners continue to collaborate closely to deliver results together.

During the meeting, the Head of Section of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, Libor Chlad, highlighted several challenges that the European Union is working with its partners to tackle. These include lack of social protection and education among refugees and host communities, and the status of vulnerable rural populations. “The European Union is working to respond with appropriate interventions to meet the needs of rural vulnerable groups through a variety of partnerships including with FAO and national institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Social Security Institution, the Ministry of Family and Social Services, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in Turkey, the Turkish Red Crescent and the ISKUR Employment Agency to shape a better future”, he explained.

The Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan, Yoichi Mikami, emphasized the crucial nature of the role played by the Government of Turkey with regard to the Syrian refugee crisis, and confirmed that the Government of Japan is happy to continue supporting efforts to build the capacities of individuals as a means to ensure the future sustainable development of the region.

Volkan Güngören

The Deputy Director-General of the EU and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Volkan Güngören, underlined the importance of food security and agricultural sustainability: “Current global population growth necessitates the development of more efficient production and consumption habits. We are developing dedicated policies in this regard and building partnerships with leading organizations such as FAO and other organizations and providing assistance to promote sustainable agricultural development and food security”.

The Programme Officer of FAO Turkey, Sheikh Ahaduzzaman, highlighted FAO’s extensive experience in Turkey with SuTPs and host communities, and noted that efforts to strengthen rural livelihoods in collaboration with partners and stakeholders will continue in the coming year. However, he emphasized “the urgent need for resources and support from the international community”.

The meeting concluded with presentations and an open discussion.

What is the Syrian Refugee Resilience Plan?

The Syrian Refugee Resilience Plan (SRRP) was developed and implemented by FAO Turkey in 2017, and consists of several projects funded by the European Union, UNHCR, the Government of Japan, FAO and GIZ to improve food security and create livelihood opportunities in the agri-food sector to promote the socio-economic integration of SuTPs and host communities in close collaboration with the Government of Turkey.

Ten projects have been implemented under the SRRP between 2017 and 2021, reaching a total of 3 246 beneficiaries of which 1 671 are SuTPs and IPASH, and 1 575 are Turkish (a total of 1 718 women and 1 528 men).

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