Establishment of Directorate of Migration and Harmonization Services
The project in brief
Directorate of Migration and Harmonization Services - Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality
July 2021 - Ongoing
Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality’s Directorate of Migration and Harmonization is the first directorate established within municipalities across Türkiye. The Directorate not only analyses the needs of foreigners, including migrants and those under temporary protection and international protection, but also plans and implements projects in cooperation with local and international organizations. The Directorate aims to improve the living standards of migrants and refugees and accelerate their integration into the host community.
- Provide food, and non-food assistance, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic to people in need
- Facilitate access to health services
- Increase employment opportunities that will strengthen the economic situation of foreigners under temporary and international protection, as well as the host community
- Increase awareness for living together and contributing to the integration of migrants and refugees into the local community
Administrative support, such as personnel, vehicles, and premises, is provided by the Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality. The Metropolitan Municipality also provides financial support for some of the project to ensure their effective implementation.
Main activities of the Good Practice
Taking into account the needs of migrants and refugees, the Directorate of Migration and Harmonization Services of Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality plans and implements projects in cooperation with relevant international organizations. Projects are carried out in line with the needs analysis conducted by field workers of the Directorate.
In this context, 5 different community centres have been established. In these centres, in addition to legal and psychological counselling services, consultations about health, as well as training such as robotic coding, music education and Turkish language courses are provided to refugees. Besides, with the food drying facility, production activities in greenhouse, “Cash for Labour Project 1-2” and various vocational trainings, the Directorate contributes to increasing livelihoods opportunities of foreigners (especially disadvantaged women and youth), thereby reducing their economic dependency, as well as supporting to the economy of the host community.
Additionally, food and hygiene packages are distributed to those who do not have any financial income, to enable disadvantaged groups to meet their basic needs.
Finally, cultural visits and some art activities are organized in order to facilitate the lives of refugees and strengthen their integration into the host community.
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- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
- Union of Municipalities of Türkiye
- German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)
- Concern Worldwide
- Care International
- Yeryüzü Doktorları (Doctors Worldwide)
- Turkish Red Crescent Society
- Support to Life
- Qatar Charity
- International Blue Crescent (IBC)
- AAR Japan
- Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants
- Australian Aid
- Yereliz Association
- Şanlıurfa Directorate of National Education
- Şanlıurfa Public Education Centre
- Şanlıurfa Governorate
Challenges and how they were overcome
The Directorate was not able to find sufficient financial support for some projects to address the needs of refugees determined as a result of the field studies and needs analysis conducted.
How they were overcome
To meet these challenges, the Directorate has taken action to develop cooperation with more international organisations. Therefore, more projects were put into action to meet the needs of asylum seekers.
Results of the Good Practice
- As a result of the Turkish language courses provided to foreigners under temporary and international protection, their communication with the local people was ensured.
- Vocational trainings have contributed foreigners to develop professional skills and consequently to their economic recovery.
- As a result of projects conducted in the field of employment, job opportunities were strengthened for beneficiaries.
- By enabling women to attend courses in different fields, their access to employment opportunities were facilitated.
- Entrepreneurship courses were provided to beneficiaries and grant support was offered to those whose business ideas were accepted at the end of the courses, allowing them to have a job.
- Support was provided for the technological development of beneficiaries, through the provision of trainings on various subjects such as computer, robotic coding and software.
- Adaptation of persons with disabilities to social life was facilitated by the provision of manual and battery powered wheelchairs. Expenses of medical products were also covered.
- Health services were provided through consultancy services. Integration of individuals into the host community was also ensured with the provision of legal and psychological support.
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How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
The activities that have been conducted by the Directorate contribute to the economy of both Şanlıurfa and Türkiye by integrating foreigners into employment with divers livelihoods related projects.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The aim of the projects is to enable foreigners, including refugees to integrate into the local people and to have self-confidence through the activities carried out in the social field.
In addition, the interventions carried out in the field of education contribute migrants, refugees, other foreigners and host community members to find jobs and to integrate with the local people. The interventions thus enable foreigners to achieve economic independence and continue their life with more freedom and self-confidence.
The majority of foreigners living in Şanlıurfa are Syrians under temporary protection. Considering the situation in Syria, it is highly likely that foreigners under temporary protection will continue to live in this province for many more years. Therefore, the Directorate has decided to continue to plan and implement the projects in order to address the needs of persons, both from refugees and the host community.
Further support required for the project to continue or scale up
The Directorate requires support from other stakeholders. This support includes i) cooperating more efficiently with international organizations for the implementation of projects, ii) sharing information with national and/or local organizations to better serve foreigners, iii) ensuring that the needs assessment of foreigners is conducted accurately in cooperation with the local people.