Strengthening Social Stability in Southeast Anatolia
What is the Project About?
The project is developed to respond to the increasingly reported facts and observation that the capacities of local service providers are overstretched, reducing their capability to deliver services to their constituents and that the labor market cannot meet the demand for jobs as a result of the increased number of inhabitants and influx of Syrians living in the Southeast Anatolia Region, which is already a disadvantaged region in terms of labor market indicators.
The project is implemented by GAP Regional Development Administration with the technical support of UNDP and funded by Government of Japan. The project aims to achieve strengthened stability through increased livelihoods opportunities and better municipal services in Southeast Anatolia in the Syrian crisis context. The project is composed of two components that aim to contribute to the social stability in Southeast Anatolia.
What has been the Situation?
The additional population increases labor market competition, whereby Syrians mostly work in informal sectors. Majority of the Syrian population do not have access to formal employment and income opportunities due to lack of connection to local businesses and skills mismatch. While the recently passed Regulation on work permits allows access to the labor market for Syrians, there is still need for further clarity on procedures and capacities to deliver such services. On the other hand, a number of Syrian businesses are already operating in the region, and a number of Syrians are employed informally in existing businesses-without social security.
Municipalities in Turkey are responsible for a number of service areas including garbage collection, traffic, public transport, water supply and city maintenance. Municipalities of Southeast Anatolia region, which received the highest intensity of refugees (some of which host more Syrians than their host population), have been dramatically affected by the Syrian crisis. With the influx of Syrian refugees, they now have to serve many more people with an already limited financial resources and infrastructure facilities. They now face the fundamental problem of economics; limited resources vs. unlimited demands.
What is our Mission?
The project is developed to respond to the increasingly reported facts and observation that the capacities of local service providers are overstretched, reducing their capability to deliver services to their constituents and that the labor market cannot meet the demand for jobs as a result of the increased number of inhabitants and influx of Syrians living in the Southeast Anatolia Region, which is already a disadvantaged region in terms of labor market indicators. This situation, coupled with the protracted nature of the crisis poses a risk of social instability in the region.
Our mission through the Project is to contribute to the employability of different segments of Syrian population and host communities and to strengthen the municipal capacities for public service.
How are we doing this?
Project will achieve its targets related to employability of Syrian population through provision of vocational training and competency development programmes that the local agricultural sector, manufacturing sector and the services sector are in need as well as improving local value chains and local production ecosystems and infrastructures for diversified and enhanced livelihood opportunities.
Regarding the targets for strengthening the municipal capacities, upon a prioritization of the needs at the local level, UNDP will develop the priority list and identify interventions in selected provinces to strengthen the social infrastructure/fabric and address the most pressing challenges through urban level investments such as strengthened municipal capacity, waste management and community support centers.
How will Turkey Benefit?
The project will ultimately contribute to the social and economic cohesion with particular focus on the highest refugee receiving locations. The project will also contribute to efficient use resources in provision of municipal services through tools for resource management and investment planning that can be replicated and scaled up in other municipalities.
What has been achieved until today?
Employability opportunities and vocational training subjects were assessed and identified based on desk-review and validated through a workshop held in Şanlıurfa with participation of sector representatives and it is ensured that the project focuses on vocational skills that are needed most in the local economy as part of the employment strategy of the project.
Partnerships with specialized local institutions for quality vocational trainings and Turkish language courses has been established. 360 Syrians received A1 level Turkish Language Training. 150 Syrians and 30 host community members developed skills in crafting, pruning and animal husbandry practices.
Pilot initiatives to improve the productivity of local value chains were identified based on desk review and consultations with local institutions in the field. Project fiches and budgets have been developed for each initiative.
Design and management strategy has been developed for Polateli Organized Industrial Zone in collaboration with national and local stakeholders to increase the employability potential and international competiveness with an effective investment and management model.
Competency development actions targeting women and youth were developed based on consultations and meetings with government institutions, local and international NGOs working in the field of disadvantaged Syrian groups.
Municipal Services Needs Assessment has been completed and Prioritization Tool for municipal investments has been developed including assessment of on social, economic, environmental impact and feasibility of investments.
Quick impact municipal investments were identified and official protocols for selected investments have been signed with the Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Hatay and Kilis Municipalities.