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Skills training for Syrian refugees, Turkish hosts aims to boost self-reliance in rural communities

FAO, Japan and Turkey have inaugurated a vocational training programme for Syrian refugees and their Turkish host communities in Şanlıurfa and Kilis, where agriculture provides employment opportunities on a large scale.

The project aims at improving participants’ skills and knowledge in high-demand areas of the local agricultural sector. Building on the success of previous efforts in Turkey, the project will help participants – both Syrian refugees and members of their host communities who work or have experience in agriculture – acquire life skills important for self-reliance, such as those related to nutrition, health, communication, and social support.

The official inauguration of the project was announced by Akio Miyajima, Japan’s ambassador to Turkey, in the presence of Şanlıurfa Deputy Governor Bahadır Güneş and Viorel Gutu, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey, among others.

“There is a need to create new jobs and employment chances for Syrian refugees and their hosts, especially within communities that rely on agriculture,” Gutu said. “Vocational training in agricultural production can help to improve economic opportunities for both groups.”

The project’s aim is to enhance participants’ chances for employment and improve income-generation skills highly sought after in the local agricultural labour market. In total, more than 150 people, including 50 women, will be selected from both communities for six weeks of theoretical, practical and on-the-job training.

The curriculum includes beekeeping, vegetable production, and pistachio and olive production for participants in Kilis, and livestock and herd management, and the preparation of traditional dishes for others in Şanlıurfa. The Japanese Association for Aid and Relief will provide 50 women from the group with additional training on healthy diets.

“We thank the Government of Japan for their financial support to this project,” Gutu said. “By providing this funding, Japan has made sure that programmes that can really help Syrian refugees and host communities will be implemented on the ground.”

FAO organized the inauguration at the GAP Agricultural Training Centre of Şanlıurfa, in close collaboration with the Şanlıurfa Provincial Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

27 July 2018, Şanlıurfa, Turkey

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