Turkey: first of 150 KfW-financed schools opens
News from 2018-05-29 / KfW Development Bank
New education facilities for Syrian refugee children and Turkish pupils
With a symbolic cutting of the tape, Roland Siller, member of the Management Committee at KfW Development Bank, opened a new school in a refugee camp in Gaziantep in south-eastern Turkey. Alongside representatives of the Turkish government, EU Ambassador Christian Berger also attended the ceremony. This is the first of an estimated 150 schools planned in Turkey that KfW is financing on behalf of the EU.
KfW is pledging a total of EUR 325 million from the "Facility for Refugees in Turkey" (FRiT) and the "EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis" on behalf of the European Union (EU). This is being channelled to build schools for Syrian and Turkish children, using both prefabricated structures and solid construction methods. The schools are also being equipped using the funds from the EU.
The total funds for the programme reached EUR 325 million after the EU pledged another EUR 160 million in response to the ongoing need and the good progress made with implementing the schools. The financing agreement for this was signed by Roland Siller and the Turkish Minister of Education Ismet Yilmaz. This amount already facilitates the construction of some 54 of the 150 schools in total.
Turkey has absorbed 3.5 million refugees from Syria, and therefore currently accommodates the largest number of refugees in the world. Roughly one million of these are children of school age, and the figure is rising. The Turkish government has set itself the goal of integrating all the refugee children into normal school classes. This is not just a challenge for the state, but also for the local authorities accepting them. So far, only around 600,000 refugee children attend Turkish schools, which is largely due to infrastructure constraints. The EU programme implemented by KfW is designed to provide some relief.
In another project carried out by KfW in conjunction with UNICEF on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Syrian teachers are receiving allowances to help out in Turkish schools. KfW is providing EUR 101 million for this purpose. The sharp increase in the number of children has pushed Turkish schools to the limits of their capacity, and the pressure is now being eased. The project not only supports the integration of Syrian children into the Turkish education system, it also helps the teachers from Syria to secure a livelihood for themselves and their families.
The programme is now being used as a model for cooperation between KfW and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well. In this context the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has provided an initial EUR 21.2 million to further train 800 Syrian doctors and nurses as well as hundreds of medical assistants to work in special health stations for refugees. This meets two objectives: firstly, refugees have access to health care in their own language. And secondly, Syrian doctors and nurses receive a formal employment contract and a steady income. This approach to health care "by refugees for refugees" – integrated into the Turkish health care system and working closely with the Turkish Ministry of Health – is unique in the world and could be used as a model for other host countries.