Financial inclusion of refugees and host communities in Turkey


Local project partner
Turkish Grameen Microfinance Program (TGMP), Ministry of Education,
State Agency for SME Promotion and State Employment Agency
Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry

German project partner

Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ)

31.05.2019 - 31.12.2022

Currently, more people are forced to flee their country than at any other time since the Second World War. According to UNHCR, there were over 80 million displaced persons in 2020. Turkey is by far the largest host country, with 3.7 million refugees accepted. Most of them are from Syria.

Most refugees have been housed in local communities, often in urban and peri-urban areas of large Turkish cities. These refugees are primarily seeking access to health care, education, and the labor market. The situation poses significant challenges for Turkish authorities, further compounded by the fact that a significant portion of Turkey's working-age population is unemployed.  Furthermore, many young people, mostly women, are neither employed nor in school.

The overall project objective is to improve the living conditions of refugees and the economically disadvantaged Turkish population, especially youth and young adults during or after completing their apprenticeships, as well as micro and small entrepreneurs.

The focus is on the financial inclusion of these target groups by promoting financial literacy, supporting entrepreneurial activities, and introducing them to the financial sector.

Project Tasks

Demand side:

Create appropriate frameworks to increase financial and entrepreneurial literacy:

  • Conduct and present a study on basic financial/entrepreneurial education.
  • Design and refinement of the training program for the target groups
  • Selection of local trainers to conduct initial pilot trainings

Supply side:

Identification of financial institutions with a pioneering role in responsibly improving the target group's access to financial products and services:

  • Selection of partner banks and initiation of targeted cooperation with German Sparkassen to enhance the financial inclusion of the target group (accounts and other financial services for refugees, provision of financing products for MSMEs and start-ups)
  • Loan funds for financing start-ups and MSMEs.

Deutsche Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation e.V.
Simrockstraße 4, 53113 Bonn

Phone: +49 228 9703-0
Fax: +49 228 9703-6613 or -6630

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