News from 2024-04-24 / KfW Development Bank

Steinmeier visits school in Gaziantep supported by KfW Development Bank

Bundespräsident Frank-Walther Steinmeier steht für ein Gruppenfoto auf einem Fußballplatz. Kinder tragen Trikots der deutschen und türkischen Fußball-Nationalmannschaften
Football match at Gazikent primary school

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will travel to the Republic of Turkey from 22 to 24 April 2024. The occasion of the trip is the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. At the beginning of his visit, Steinmeier paid tribute to the lifetime achievements of Turkish migrants in Germany and their contribution to German prosperity. Steinmeier had invited a number of guests with Turkish roots to accompany him in order to trace the stories of the guest workers of the time.

Part of the programme - on 23. April, the Day of the Child in Turkey – is a visit to the Gazikent School in Gaziantep. The school is one of 245 schools and kindergartens that KfW is building on behalf of the EU together with the Turkish Ministry of Education. The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT) has so far provided EUR 425 million for this purpose. 105 schools have already been completed, the vast majority of them are located in the area hit by the devastating earthquake in February last year. The programme schools survived the earthquakes in Turkey without serious damage and played a key role in providing first aid to the earthquake victims. The earthquake of the century claimed more than 50,000 lives and around 1,000 educational institutions were destroyed. Around 14 million people live in the affected provinces, 3.3 million of whom were left homeless. Most of them are still living in containers or tents. Up to 2 million Syrian refugees live in the region and are particularly hard hit by the consequences of the earthquake.

Today, the earthquake-proof schools built by the Turkish Ministry of Education and KfW offer Turkish and Syrian children a safe learning environment and are often the only place of refuge, even after school. At a football tournament in which Turkish and Syrian children took part, the Federal President was able to see for himself the important contribution that sport makes to social cohesion. The children were particularly pleased to receive the jerseys of the German national team, which President Steinmeier brought with him from Germany. A quarter of the 1000 pupils at Gazikent School come from Syria.

In order to guarantee the educational opportunities of the approximately 5 million children in the earthquake region and the host areas, it is necessary to rebuild and expand educational facilities quickly and safely. KfW Development Bank will be involved in the reconstruction of educational facilities on behalf of the German Federal Government.

In the earthquake region, but also in the high-risk earthquake region of Istanbul, schools for a total of 40,000 pupils will be made earthquake-proof or newly built. This year, the EU will also provide additional funds for the construction of schools, youth centres and sports facilities via KfW.