ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will launch on April 10 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 state-run 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 enable Syrian refugees to grow their own food and acquire skills to be able to work in the 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 can sometimes be unaffordable. That is why the FAO is looking to agriculture for solutions,” Burgeon said.
He noted that the funding of programs in 2017 and 2018 had been provided by a variety of sources such as the U.N.’s refugee agency — the 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 for the 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.
“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.
He said the FAO would continue to work with the Turkish government to help refugees.
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 Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Directorate General of Migration Management, Labor and Social Security Ministry, Family and Social Policies Ministry, U.N. agencies and humanitarian and development partners.