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UN body to start new plan for Syrian refugees in Turkey

Syrian Refugees | 2018-04-09 11:33:00
UN body to start new plan for Syrian refugees in Turkey
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will launch on Tuesday a new two-year plan for Syrian refugees in Turkey, according to a top FAO official.

The Syria Refugee Resilience Plan aims to improve food security, strengthen livelihoods and enhance the resilience of Syrian refugees and host communities, the organization's director of Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Dominique Burgeon, told Anadolu Agency before his visit to Turkey.

"Our focus for the next two years is on two main areas; food security and agriculture, and livelihoods," Burgeon said.

He said the program involves vocational programs which enables Syrian refugees to grow their own food and getting skills to be able to work in agricultural sector in Turkey.

"Around 23 percent of the children who are refugees in Turkey are malnourished. The price of nutritious foods like fruit and vegetables fluctuates, and sometimes can be unaffordable. That is why the FAO is looking to agriculture for solutions," Burgeon said.

He noted that funding of programs in 2017 and 2018 had been provided by a variety of sources such as The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Japan.

"For our new program we are hoping to add more donors as well. The more funding we get, the more we can do," he said.

Burgeon also said $95 million would be needed the for implementation of all programs in Turkey.

He said he would meet representatives of the Turkish government and international partners of FAO to present a plan during his visit to the country.

He praised Turkey's hosting of 3.5 million Syrian refugees "without major disruption" as a huge achievement.

- Cooperation with government

"I congratulate the Turkish government and the Turkish people on the generous way they’ve embraced Syrian refugees, and I congratulate them on the support that has been provided."

He said the FAO would continue to work with the Turkish government to help refugees.

"We had huge demand for all our programs, and every day more of the participants are finding work," Burgeon said.

He noted that 900 people -- of which 30 percent were Turkish and 45 percent were women -- benefited from a project in partnership with the Turkish government to find ways for refugees to acquire skills in the agriculture sector in southeastern part of Turkey last year.

"We now want to expand this activity into other provinces, and to offer training in new topics," he said.

Burgeon said the FAO also works on new projects with the private sector and chambers of agriculture in different provinces of Turkey.

He mentioned a greenhouse that was being built in southern Osmaniye province for residents of Osmaniye Temporary Accommodation Centre, which he was expected to visit on Monday afternoon.

"People living in the camp get food assistance, but it can lack variety. That is why we will provide training and materials so that people can grow their own vegetables in this greenhouse."

FAO’s short and medium-term strategy to address the Syria crisis is aligned with the government's strategy and policy and ongoing initiatives of partners, according to the organization.

It works in close coordination with different stakeholders, especially Turkey's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, provincial breakdown of refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Directorate General of Migration Management, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, UN agencies and humanitarian and development partners.

Anadolu Agency
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