World Bank Administers School Construction Projects under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

January 30, 2017

ANKARA, January 30, 2017 – The World Bank, together with the Ministry of National Education of Turkey, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, the European Union, and KfW, has launched the "School Construction Projects under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey" Project.

Funded by the European Union and implemented by KfW and the World Bank, the project aims to support the Government of Turkey in improving access to education for Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTP), as well as their host communities, by expanding disaster-resilient education infrastructure in priority provinces.  

The Ministry of National Education (MoNE) will construct approximately 56 formal and informal education facilities, reaching more than 40,000 direct beneficiaries. The project will not only facilitate access of SuTP and host-community students to formal education facilities, but will also facilitate the construction of informal education facilities that would benefit the community at large.  

The project will focus primarily on Turkey’s southeastern and southern provinces, where the majority of school-aged SuTP reside, and where Turkey currently hosts the highest concentration of out-of-school SuTP: Adana, Mersin, Hatay, Kilis, Kahramanmaraş, and Osmaniye.

In addition, the project will facilitate the expansion of education infrastructure investments in Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, İzmir, Konya, and Kayseri - all of which host a high number of SuTP and have a high concentration of out-of-school SuTP at the district level. 

“Today, Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country, and about 2.8 million of these refugees are Syrians,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Turkey. “To date, the Government and people of Turkey have helped most of these refugees to register, find housing, and obtain key health and education services. Expanding access to education remains a critical challenge, because large numbers of refugees are overwhelming local schools and because children, whether or not they are refugees, cannot afford to wait to acquire the learning needed to hold a job.”

Zutt emphasized that “The World Bank is happy to work with the Government of Turkey and the European Union to build the schools needed to enable Syrian refugee children, as well as Turkish host-community children, to obtain work and to contribute productively to the social and economic life of Turkey.” 

David Sislen, World Bank Manager for Urban and Disaster Risk Management, Europe and Central Asia Region, added: “We are pleased to contribute to Turkey’s admirable efforts to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis as it becomes clearer that the situation poses a complex development challenge for the region. Turkey is one of the countries that is most affected. Based on our 25-year partnership for improving overall disaster risk management and reducing disaster risks in Turkey, we are pleased to see that the Safe Schools Program in Turkey is evolving to help Syrian kids to be back at school.”

The project includes three components: supporting school infrastructure investments, enhancing the quality of the learning environment, and project management and technical capacity building for infrastructure. 

With total financing of €150 million ($159.41 million equivalent) from a European Commission (EC) grant, under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRiT), the World Bank will administer a recipient-executed Trust Fund that will be implemented by MoNE through its Construction and Real Estate Department (CRED), in coordination with the Disaster Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

The project is consistent with the World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy for Turkey for 2012–2016, which has three main strategic objectives: enhanced competitiveness and employment, improved equity and public services, and deepened sustainable development.

The project is also aligned with the Indicative Strategy Paper for Turkey (2014–2020), specifically the ‘Education, employment and social policies sector,’ by complementing the development of a more inclusive society by addressing employment and labor market needs and improving the effectiveness of social protection and social inclusion policies -including promoting decent jobs, improving social dialogue, and increasing the quality of and access to education and training systems. 

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