UN System in Turkey


UN in Turkey















The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945, after the Second World War, by 51 countries including Turkey, to achieve a great vision for humanity: maintaining international peace and security, promoting sustainable development, and securing human rights. Its membership now encompasses 193 countries, with its work touching the lives of people in every corner of the globe.

Over the years, the Organization has been endeavoring to emancipate humanity from the scourges of poverty, hunger, ignorance, disease, deprivation, disasters and the deleterious impact of environmental degradation. Special focus on poor, marginalized and alienated segments of society, including internally displaced persons and refugees, gender equality and empowerment of women, good governance, rights-based approaches and pursuit of sustainable development are quintessential to the UN’s work.

As a founding member of the United Nations, Turkey has actively and significantly contributed to facilitating effective implementation of the UN mandate, ranging from peacekeeping and peace building to improving the lives and livelihoods of the poor world-wide. The Organization has been working for more than 50 years in Turkey, as a partner with the government, private sector, media, women’s groups, NGOs, academia and other representatives of civil society to support the implementation of Turkey’s national vision and implement national programmes and priorities. These initiatives place special emphasis on building capacity, assisting in the design and formulation of national policies, strategies and action plans, sharing information, knowledge and experience and bringing best practices from around the globe to enrich the national development process.

The United Nations System in Turkey comprises 14 resident agencies: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), UN Women, World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO). The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), while non-resident, are also actively engaged with Turkey.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is also in the process of opening an office in Ankara.

Our collective effort is to bring the best of UN assistance to Turkey in its national development efforts and in terms of international norms and standards. We seek to involve people from all segments of society in our work. This information kit is a modest attempt to inform our friends and partners about the areas that we engage in and with Turkey.

We eagerly look forward to your continuous support in achieving our common ideals: peace, development and human rights; and a better world for all for the present and for posterity.

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Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations 

Achieving Food Security For All

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts to make sure people have regular access to enough high quality food to lead active and healthy lives.

FAO’s activities comprise five main areas are: putting information within reach and supporting the transition to sustainable agriculture, strengthening political will and sharing policy expertise, bolstering public-private collaboration to improve smallholder agriculture, bringing knowledge to the field and supporting countries prevent and mitigate risks.

Our strategic objectives are: to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable, reduce rural poverty, enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, and increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises.

Turkey and FAO

The Partnership between FAO and Turkey has thrived since the establishment of the country office in 1982 and the Subregional Office for Central Asia (SEC) in 2007 in Ankara. The country is a recipient of wide ranging assistance from FAO and it is also an active resource partner, providing indispensable technical and financial support to FAO activities, particularly in the subregion. 

Hosting the subregional office

FAO’s Subregional Office for Central Asia in Ankara was established with the operational support of the Government of Turkey, enhancing FAO’s ability to respond to national needs as well as regional priorities of the countries in the subregion – Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme (FTPP)

The overarching objective of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme is to provide assistance aimed at food security and rural poverty reduction in the subregion.

Established in 2007, the Programme benefits from trust fund contributions totalling US$20 million to date. It is financed by the Government of Turkey, represented by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. The second phase of the Programme (2016-2020) will focus on food security and nutrition, agricultural and rural development, protection and management of natural resources, agricultural policies and food safety. 

FAO-Turkey Forestry Partnership Programme (FTFP)

A partnership agreement between FAO and the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs is financed with a trust fund contribution of US$10 million for an initial period from 2016 to 2020. Areas covered by the agreement include sustainable forest management, plantations and rehabilitation, forest products and ecosystem services, forests and the environment, people and forests, governance, assessments and monitoring, combating desertification and interdisciplinary issues.

Increasing resilience of Turkey’s steppe lands

A two-year, EU-funded project aims to restore healthy ecosystems, promote environment-friendly agricultural practices and strengthen knowledge among government institutions through the “ecosystem-based adaptation” approach.

Collaboration with Global Environment Facility  

Projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Turkey are focusing on biodiversity, land degradation and climate change mitigation. A particular emphasis is put on forests, pastures and agricultural areas managed under dryland conditions in Konya Closed Basin (through a US$5.75 million project), sensitive steppe ecosystems in Sanliurfa province (US$2.3 million), and sustainable management of forest areas in the Marmara region (US$4.6 million).

FAO Turkey’s response to Syria refugee crisis

The FAO Turkey Syria Refugee Resilience Programme (SRRP) 2017-2018 aims to improve food security, strengthen livelihoods and enhance the resilience of the Syrian refugees and host communities. The SRRP is structured around three pillars and designed as an integrated approach:

(1) Increase food security and nutrition through small-scale agricultural production and promote good nutrition; (2) Enhance rural livelihoods through vocational skills training to increase access to the local labour market and establish private sector partnerships to fill labour gaps; and (3) Increase capacity and coordination among Regional Refugee and Response Plan (3RP) partners in the design, implementation and reporting of programmes.

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International Labour Organization

Promoting Social Justice and Decent Work across the World

WHO WE ARE: The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations for the world of work.

Founded in 1919, the ILO became the first specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946. The ILO has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and has 187 Member States.

The ILO develops international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations, setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating working conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues.

Within the UN system, the ILO has a unique tripartite structure with workers and employers participating as equal partners with governments in the work of its governing organs and in shaping labour policies and programs. The primary goal of the ILO is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work based on freedom, equity, security and human dignity  through its four principal strategic objectives; namely promoting and realizing international standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, creating greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment, enhancing the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all and strengthening tripartism and social dialogue.


Turkey became a member state of the ILO in 1932. The first ILO Office in Turkey was opened in İstanbul in 1952 as the “Manpower Field Office for the Near and Middle East.” Located in Ankara, the Office continues its functions as the “ILO Office   for Turkey”. The mission of the ILO Office for Turkey is to have a strong, visible, and proactive presence in Turkey by effectively engaging with the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, and other international organizations to promote decent work for all, ensuring that the core ILO priorities, standards, interests, policies are promoted, and its experience is disseminated.

ILO Office for Turkey also works to promote International Labour Standards in Turkey, and develops, implements and monitors technical cooperation programmes and projects for advancing the decent work opportunities for all.

In 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding on the National Decent Work Country Priorities was signed by the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security and ILO which reaffirmed the following country priorities agreed upon by all the social partners: child labour, youth employment, women’s employment and gender equality and finally, social dialogue.

Along with the technical cooperation projects on these policy areas cited below, the ILO Office for Turkey has also launched two new projects on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and the Syrian Refugee Crisis in 2015 as a reflection of the ILO’s sensitive and immediate approach and response to the emerging local and regional developments.

In 2016, the second phases of the OSH and Syrian Refugee Crisis projects kicked off while the ILO Office for Turkey also initiated the Social Dialogue Project in August 2016.

In 2017, the new phase of Pilot Implementation of SCORE Programme has launched as part of its efforts to support the responsible and competitive enterprises.


ILO Office for Turkey and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Turkey jointly initiated a project entitled “Integrated Model for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey” in 2012, co-funded by the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO) and the Government of Netherlands.

So far, the project provided counselling to nearly 3,200 seasonal worker families. Over 3,100 children (aged 4-16 years old) have been reached, the majority of whom were withdrawn or prevented from work mostly through providing an alternative in the form of education. The project has raised awareness of the issue of child labour, and encouraged national and local ownership, including by transferring knowledge and skills to the relevant institutions.

This public private partnership project which is the first ever of its kind in Turkey created a sustainable model to tackle child labour in the hazelnut sector in Turkey, and as such contributes in the fight against child labour in seasonal agriculture throughout Turkey.


Gender equality is at the heart of ILO’s “Decent Work for All Men and Women” agenda. The ILO and its constituents around the world pursue a wide range of activities that use gender mainstreaming as a strategy to achieve gender equality. In line with ILO’s priority areas, ILO Office for Turkey, along with Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), is implementing “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Work in Turkey” project to increase women’s employment and to promote gender equality with the financial contribution of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

The project has contributed to women’s social and economic empowerment and eventually women’s employment via development of an inclusive and coherent policy to promote women’s employment at national level through the adoption of Turkey’s first Action Plan on women’s employment” in 2016. Following this, in order to support implementation of the Action Plan, approximately 300 İŞKUR’s key staffs and Job Counsellors have been equipped with necessary skills and knowledge for providing gender sensitive public employment services. Additionally, the project aims to increase employability of women through effective job counselling services, active labour market policies and through field-oriented raising awareness activities on their legal, economic, political and social rights with a special emphasis on women’s economic rights and rights at work. In this respect, 400 women were included in the women entrepreneurship support program, more than 800 women received the vocational trainings and women’s human rights trainings. Additionally, more than 1300 working women and men were provided seminars on gender equality at working life at workplaces, trade unions, factories and municipalities to increase their awareness on the issue in the project provinces namely Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa and Konya.


The objective of this programme is to improve the occupational safety and health in Turkey through compliance with International Labour Standards. The first project which was implemented between January 2015 and March 2016 was focused in the areas of mining and construction and assisted the Ministry of Labour and Social Security particularly the Directorate General of Occupational Health and Safety (DGOHS) with the compliance of Turkish legislation with relevant and newly ratified Conventions. Furthermore, the focus was also on the national system for collecting data on occupational accidents and diseases; and well as the labour inspection system. A follow up project  to run until  December 2017 focuses on a pursuit of the work initiated regarding the management of OSH in line with ILO OSH standards and also aims at improving the capacity of the national constituents – including the Government, OSH Professionals, employers, workers, judges and legal educators – to use national and international standards on OSH. In cooperation with the ILO Project “Improving livelihoods and decent work opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities”, OSH modules for vocational training to Syrian refugees for a select number of vocations were reviewed and adapted to better fit the needs of the refugees to improve their employability and integration into the Turkish labour market.


Within the Regional Refugee Response and Resilience Plan (3RP), the ILO has adopted a development focused and employment driven strategy to support host communities and refugees. The ILO Office for Turkey has introduced a comprehensive strategy and inclusive response towards Syrian refugee crisis which has become one of the most important agenda items. The ILO’s strategy consists of three main pillars:

– Increase the availability of a skilled, competent and productive labour supply to facilitate access to decent work for Syrian refugees and Turkish host communities;

– Support an enabling environment for business development and economic growth in identified sectors and geographic locations to address job creation and stimulate entrepreneurship opportunities for Syrian refugees and Turkish host communities;

– Provide support to strengthen labour market governance institutions and mechanisms to assist Turkey in implementing inclusive development strategies.

The ILO Office for Turkey has carried out two interrelated projects, namely “ILO’s Response to Syrian Influx in Turkey” and “Improving Livelihoods and Decent Work Opportunities for Syrian Refugees and Host Communities” in Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis and Ankara. The projects aimed to contribute to the promotion of decent employment and equal treatment for Syrian refugees. In this regard, the ILO delivered vocational, technical, skills development, and entrepreneurship trainings to Syrian and local communities to improve the employability of both.

Over 1500 Syrian refugees and host community members were supported to access employment through provision of these trainings in 2016.

Currently, the ILO Office for Turkey is implementing follow-up projects, “Promoting Decent Work Opportunities for Syrian Refuges and Host Communities in Turkey” and “Improving Labour Market Integration of Syrian Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey” in Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, Mardin, Ankara, Adana, Mersin and Hatay. The main objectives of the projects are to strengthen institutional and technical capacities at local and national levels for provision of quality employment services for Syrian refugees and host community members, to improve employability and employment opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities through vocational, technical and basic skills development trainings and to raise awareness of Syrian refugees, host communities, employers and wide stakeholders on public employment services and new legislation on work permits.


Aiming to promote social dialogue at all levels in Turkey, the ILO Office for Turkey has started the “Technical Assistance for Improving Social Dialogue in Working Life project, in August 2016. The project prioritizes increasing the capacity of social partners, relevant public institutions and awareness-raising on social dialogue at all levels through a holistic approach.

Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) is the main beneficiary of the project where the general public, workers, employers and staff of public agencies are considered as the final beneficiaries.

Estimated results of the 24 month project are; Improved institutional capacity of MoLSS, related institutions and social partners to better engage in social dialogue in working life; Increased awareness of the institutions and the general public on freedom of association, collective bargaining and social dialogue at all levels; and Improved social dialogue mechanisms at all levels. The project will be achieving the above listed estimated results, through a wide and detailed web of actions, trainings, meetings, publications and a variety of communication initiatives.

Within this framework, this project is on track with completed and ongoing activities. In fact, the trainings on international labour standarts in framework of ILO conventions and EU standards were delivered to approximately 250 staff of Ministries and social partners in March-May 2017. An international conference on sustainable development, social dialogue and future of work was organised with the participation of social partners, academicians, international organizations, public institutions, NGOs and private sector in May 2017. The activities on increasing awareness of SMEs on bipartite social dialogue at workplace also started in textile sector. In addition to these activities, the research activities on economic development and social dialogue, social dialogue for hard to organise groups, decisions of ILO Committee of Experts and Application Committee on Turkey and best practices on bi-partite and tri-partite social dialogue mechanisms are under progress. The grant component of the project aiming at improving social dialogue at local level is also on going on with training and consultancy activities.


The SCORE is an ILO Global Programme that aims at improving the productivity and competitiveness of Small and Medium sized Enterprises by way of developing workplace cooperation between management and labour in the SMEs. The Programme focuses on the topics of (1) Workplace Cooperation; (2) Total Quality Management; (3) Cleaner Production; (4) Human Resources and (5) Occupational Safety and Health.  It does so by conducting in class trainings to the participating enterprises as well as the consultancy services provided. The Programme reaches the enterprises through establishing collaborations with the employee organizations, the international/national brands, chambers of industries as well as the employee networks. The Programme was introduced in Turkey as a pilot in 2014 and extended in new sectors in 2017 with newly established partnerships.


The interest in Green Jobs is increasing at the global level and there is growing understanding of the need to create decent work with a reduced impact on the environment. Green growth and transition to the green economy are likewise becoming important issues in policy discussions in Turkey in terms of the national development planning. In this regard, the ILO project “Decent Work in the Green Economy,” which focuses on the employment aspects of national efforts for a transition to the green economy, was implemented in Turkey from 16 February 2013 to 31 March 2015. Awareness raising, capacity building and green jobs assessments built the ground for the design of national strategies that focused on the creation of decent work for women and men in green or greened economic sectors as part of the project.

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The UN Migration Agency 

Managing Migration for the Benefit of All

Did you know one in seven people today are migrants?  That’s nearly a billion people globally.

When properly managed, migration can benefit migrants, their communities, countries, and employers.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) was established in 1951 in the aftermath of the Second World War. At the United Nations Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants on 19 of September 2016 in New York, Ambassador William Lacy Swing signed a document formally linking IOM to the United Nations. With offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing support and assistance to governments and migrants.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) recognizes that migration is linked to economic, social and cultural development. Our work encompasses four broad areas of migration management:

  • Migration and development – how migration can lead to economic and social benefits
  • Facilitating migration – promoting legal avenues for migrants, i.e. students or reuniting families
  • Regulating migration –for example, border management and combating human trafficking
  • Forced migration – for example: resettling refugees in third countries or helping people displaced by natural or man-made disasters.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM)’s cross-cutting work includes the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants’ rights, migration health and the gender.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) – the UN Migration Agency opened its first offices in Turkey in 1991, following the aftermath of the first Gulf War. The Mission’s activities began with resettlement for Iraqi refugees, and were later expanded to migration management programmes. IOM’s partnership with the Republic of Turkey was formalized in November 2004 when Turkey was granted member status to IOM. Following the devastating earthquake in Van in 2011, IOM Turkey began our emergency response programmes which have since expanded in response to ongoing regional conflicts and crises, notably the 2012 Syrian Crisis and the 2015 Mediterranean Crisis.

With over 25 years operational experience in Turkey, the Mission is now one of the largest globally with roughly 450 staff in 15 different locations across the country, with the main office in Ankara, and sub-offices in Istanbul and Gaziantep.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey continues to support the Turkish government to develop policies, legislation and administrative structures to manage migration efficiently and effectively. With the recent ratification of Law on International Labour Force, the collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will increasingly continue. Additionally, our experts have supported the Ministry of Interior to draft the 2014 “Law on Foreigner and International Protection” and continues to support the Government of Turkey in its effective implementation.

Turkey is both a transit country and a destination for migrants.  More and more, migrants are risking their lives through dangerous journeys. IOM believes a regional approach is important to complement and reinforce national strategies.  Our work on immigration and border management promotes cooperation and information sharing in the region by sharing expertise among border agencies and other migration-related organizations. IOM in Turkey’s border management projects aim to develop legal, institutional and managerial structures and capacities to support the government of Turkey in strengthening border management policies and structures in line with international best practices. IOM also provides technical assistance to law enforcement agencies, like the Turkish Coast Guard, to promote life-saving activities, assist vulnerable migrants and to distribute humanitarian items to rescued persons.

Through resettlement and movement operations, IOM gives migrants and refugees an opportunity to build new lives. Since 2010, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey has assisted roughly 60,000 refugees to resettle to third countries, like the U.S., Canada or Australia.

Our Family Assistance Programme (FAP) help reunite thousands of Syrians in the region with a close Syrian relative granted asylum in Germany. The programme assist Syrian families through the family reunification visa application process and provide German integration classes in the Arabic language. In Turkey alone, roughly 38,000 individuals were advised since the opening. The programme aims to dissuade Syrian families from seeking unsafe, irregular migration channels and to better prepare Syrian beneficiaries successfully integrate within German society.

Our migration assistance programs help identify migration channels for vulnerable migrants.  Assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) is one way that the UN Migration Agency (IOM) assists vulnerable people wishing to return to their home country but lack the means.  Since the program’s introduction in 2009, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey has assisted over approximately 5,000 people to return to their home country. Another way that the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey assists vulnerable migrants is our work to combat human trafficking.  With over a decade experience in counter-trafficking activities in Turkey, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) works to prevent human trafficking, protect victims, persecute traffickers, build capacity and create partnerships. Since our program began, approximately 1,000 victims of human trafficking were safely and voluntarily returned with the assistance of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Turkish government.

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Turkey is a key member in the regional response to the ongoing Syrian Crisis, supporting the humanitarian response led by the Government of Turkey since 2012.  Since August 2014, IOM Turkey has assisted nearly 1 million Syrians by providing:

  • Access to basic needs (including non-food items, winterization, hygiene kits, transportation to social facilities and camps)
  • Food assistance (through cash programming and hot meals through food kitchens)
  • Education support (through school transportation, formal and informal education)
  • Community services (psychosocial support, skills building, language classes, legal advice, among others) through community centres and outreach
  • Health assistance (through support to primary health care clinics and medical transportation)
  • Case Management (including various forms of targeted support and referral)
  • Livelihoods and Community Stabilization (through job placements, in-kind grants and quick impact community support and cohesion projects)


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United Nations Development Fund

Empowered Lives. Resilient Nations

Who We Are

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as the UN’s development network, helps in the development of policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and resilience building, in order to sustain development results.

Inclusive growth, better services, environmental sustainability and democratic governance are fundamental to development progress. We offer our expertise in development thinking and practice, and decades of experience at country level, to support countries in meeting their development aspirations. We help bring the voices of the world’s peoples into deliberations. Human Development is our raison d’être as well as the glue that holds our work together.

We work in close partnership with all levels of governments, local authorities, as well as national and international institutions, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia and the business community.

Our Work

UNDP supports the implementation of Turkey’s development agenda through policy advice, technical assistance, advocacy and knowledge management in 3 portfolio areas:

Inclusive and Democratic Governance (IDG): The Inclusive and Democratic Governance portfolio aims to contribute to strengthening governance processes and institutions that are responsive to citizens’ demands and universal norms. It addresses structural issues pertaining to the rule of law and human rights including with respect to gender, participation and accountability. Support is provided to the relevant institutions to enable improved access to justice and to enhance implementation of local administration reforms in line with the subsidiarity principle. Building on past records of impartiality, promotion of innovation in governance, and the UN’s role as a guardian of international norms, UNDP works with partners towards strengthening the independence of institutions, particularly judicial actors and national human rights mechanisms.

Inclusive and Sustainable Growth (ISG): The Inclusive and Sustainable Growth portfolio aims to address structural issues critical to national competitiveness, paying full attention to inclusiveness and sustainability. We collaborate with the Government, civil society and the private sector to contribute to the eradication of regional disparities, to improve rural livelihoods, to enhance competitiveness, and to boost entrepreneurship and innovation. Our initiatives supporting green growth not only help to improve sustainable economic growth, but also contribute to the Turkish economy, making it more productive, competitive and resilient. We advocate for stronger participation of women and youth in the economy. Moreover, UNDP Turkey has been implementing resilience building programmes targeting both Syrian refugees and host communities in the border provinces that host high Syrian refugee population in Southeast Anatolia Region.

Climate Change and Environment (CCE): Climate change, air and water pollution, soil erosion, land and forest degradation and loss of biodiversity are areas of global concern. In Turkey, as elsewhere, these environmental problems hinder efforts to achieve sustainable development. The Climate Change and Environment portfolio aims to ensure the voice and participation of all stakeholders on environmental issues and enable the valuation and sharing of the benefits of ecosystem services.

It focuses on strengthening the capacity to prevent and respond to environmental degradation, particularly in relation to biodiversity, forest management and chemical waste prevention, elimination and management as well as disaster risk reduction and management. Climate change adaptation and mitigation actions are implemented across sectors and initiatives to strengthen systems and tools for risk-centered and integrated disaster management and increase the resilience of the ecosystems and the society. These actions takes account of differentiated gender impacts. UNDP Turkey is supporting Turkey on implementation of multilateral international agreements on climate change and environment.

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United Nations Population Fund

Promoting Population Policies for Sustainable Development

UNFPA Worldwide

UNFPA expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

UNFPA promotes the rights of every woman, man, and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries by promoting the use of population based data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS and that every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA in Turkey

UNFPA began working with the Government of Turkey in 1971 and carried first country programme in 1988. Currently UNFPA is carrying out the Sixth country programme (2016-2020) in Turkey which focuses on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and improving their access to services.
For more than forty years, UNFPA in Turkey has support to:

  • Improve reproductive health, particularly by supporting efforts to meet the needs of women and young people;
  • Promote gender equality and combatting violence against women
  • Enhance collection, use, and dissemination of development data.

UNFPA Turkey office has been acting as coordination office for country-based and regional programmes in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

UNFPA’s Sixth Country Programme in Turkey

UNFPA within its fifth Country Programme framework aims to:

  • Provision of youth friendly reproductive health services to vulnerable population groups
  • Provision of humanitarian assistance to refugees on reproductive health and gender based violence
  • Promoting gender equality and combatting gender based violence
  • Collecting statistical and disaggregated demographic data and information; using this data and information in the development and implementation of social and economic policies,

through providing technical assistance to the Turkish Government and all relevant organizations in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ICPD Program of Action.

The Turkish Government has been part of the UNFPA programme development process, which has included identifying the reasons for major development problems, such as violence against women and regional disparities in reproductive health and designing strategies to solve them.

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 The UN Refugee         Agency

Protecting and Finding Solutions for Refugees in Turkey

UNHCR in Turkey

UNHCR presence in Turkey was established in 1960 to liaise with the government on asylum and refugee matters. The Republic of Turkey is a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol, maintaining the geographical limitation. UNHCR’s Turkey operation is one of its largest globally with an office in Ankara and field presence in İstanbul, İzmir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Şanlıurfa and Van.

UNHCR has been working in close cooperation with Turkish authorities to strengthen the protection environment and access to social support mechanisms available in Turkey for people in need of international protection. To this end, UNHCR also supports and contributes to institutional and legislative capacity increasing activities to strengthen the national asylum system. Since the beginning of the Syria crisis, UNHCR leads and coordinates the efforts of UN agencies and partners in support of Turkey’s refugee response. In addition, UNHCR continues to register and conduct Refugee Status Determination (RSD) for non-Syrian asylum-seekers, and pursues resettlement and other legal avenues in third countries.

Main activities

 Registration and Refugee Status Determination (RSD)

  • The Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) and UNHCR are undertaking an exercise to verify the registration data of the 2.7 million Syrian refugees under Temporary Protection (TP). The exercise will update and obtain missing information, and introduce verification as a continuous part of registration. The Government of Turkey, UNHCR and other stakeholders will use updated data to design evidence-based programmes for targeted assistance; promote education and access to employment, identify legal pathways and other durable solutions such as family reunification, private sponsorship, humanitarian visa programmes, academic scholarships, etc.; and identify and assist persons with specific needs.
  • Following the coming into force of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection in April 2014, UNHCR is supporting the transition of RSD activities into national procedures, largely carried out by UNHCR under its mandate until now.


  • UNHCR is supporting multi-service, community, and women centres as well as child-friendly spaces across the 81 provinces of the country. Services include psycho-social support, legal and general counseling,  language and vocational training. Outreach centres strengthen protection networks and support community empowerment by addressing the needs of both host and refugee communities.
  • UNHCR’s Refugee Outreach Volunteer (ROV) project engages communities in protection responses. ROVs identify and assist vulnerable refugees, inform refugees about their rights and the national services available to them, and develop and strengthen existing capacities within the community. This project extends existing UNHCR coverage to refugees in 44 provinces through its presence and partners and contributes to empowering refugees.
  • UNHCR is expanding protection monitoring of urban refugees and identification of persons with special needs through outreach centres, partners, UNHCR-led missions to satellite cities and focus-group discussions. This also contributes to improved advocacy, protection interventions, targeted assistance and information sharing. UNHCR is also building capacity of protection partners and expanding their presence for individual case management, referrals and follow up.
  • UNHCR collaborates with partners to enhance SGBV prevention and response: UNHCR acts as the secretariat of the SGBV working group, which is co-chaired by Ministry of Family and Social Policy (MoFSP) and AFAD, while co-chairing the SGBV sub-working group in Gaziantep with UNFPA. UNHCR also developed inter-agency SOPs on Prevention and Response to SGBV in cooperation with UNFPA, government officials, NGOs and other UN agencies within the Protection Sector. Additionally, UNHCR created training modules on SGBV identification and referral mechanisms as well as produced leaflets on early and forced marriages, and domestic violence for refugees and relevant stakeholders.
  • UNHCR Istanbul works in close coordination with provincial authorities such as the Ministry of National Education (MoNE), MoFSP, and NGOs to identify children/youth at risk, and strengthen prevention and response mechanisms to address child labour. Referrals are done to national systems to ensure children benefit from existing protection mechanisms as well as to facilitate their access to social services and education.


  • UNHCR bolsters the efforts of MoNE to ensure access to education for school-age children through community outreach on educational services available; provision of education and stationary materials to Temporary Education Centres as well Turkish language support.
  • UNHCR in partnership with the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) is providing scholarships for advanced Turkish language programmes to enable high school graduates to meet language proficiency requirements for enrolment in higher education. Also, scholarships are awarded to Syrians through UNHCR’s DAFI Turkiye’s higher education scholarship programme to cover tuition, accommodation and other related costs.


  • UNHCR delivered ambulances and a mobile clinic to the Ministry of Health to be able to offer health services to persons of concern in remote locations and in the event of an emergency.
  • UNHCR provides interpreters to hospitals located in areas with a large Syrian and / or Arabic speaking refugee population. Interpretation support to non-Arabic speaking refugee populations is provided through partners in various provinces. UNHCR also delivers trainings on international legal protection and national legislation related to health issues for the Turkish Ministry of Health staff working at hospitals in southeastern cities.

 Basic Needs and Cash-Based Initiatives

  • UNHCR, through partners, continues to provide essential relief items to those most in need in urban areas.
  • Syrian and Iraqi refugee households living in camps will receive clothes for the 2016/17 winter season from UNHCR, distributed by AFAD.
  • UNHCR also implements cash assistance programmes for the most vulnerable refugees: In 2016, within the framework of annual winter support UNHCR will assist nearly 110,000 Syrian and non-Syrian refugee households with one-off cash assistance through Turkish postal system-issued debit cards that can be used in shops across Turkey.

 Camp Coordination and Camp Management

  • UNHCR supports AFAD in the management of camps in southeast Turkey by ensuring regular staff presence in all of the camps to offer technical assistance in areas, such as registration, identification of vulnerabilities, other protection concerns and to monitor voluntary repatriation.

 Community Empowerment and Self-Reliance

  • UNHCR promotes refugees’ skills development, employability, and access to the labour market to mitigate against destitution and negative coping mechanisms as well as promote livelihoods, resilience, and social cohesion. In addition, a Livelihoods Centre was established in Istanbul in partnership with IMC to provide career counseling and vocational training. The Centre will serve as an incubator for startups.


  • UNHCR conducts resettlement on the basis of a rigorous prioritization of cases with most acute vulnerabilities or protection risks. UNHCR is currently expanding access to resettlement counseling through a variety of means (phone, in-person, online, etc.).

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United Nations Information Centre

Promoting awareness of UN and its work in Turkey

Who we are?

The network of 63 United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) are key to the Organization’s ability to reach the peoples of the world and to share the United Nations story with them. These centres, working in coordination with the UN system, reach out to the media and educational institutions, engage in partnerships with governments, local civil society organizations and the private sector, and maintain libraries and electronic information resources.

United Nations Information Centres are the principal sources of information about the United Nations system in the countries where they are located. UNICs are responsible for promoting greater public understanding of and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations by disseminating information on the work of the Organization to people everywhere, especially in developing countries.

The network of UNICs is one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations tells its story to the world. They give global messages a local accent and help bring the UN closer to the people it serves.

Information Centres are part of the Department of Global Communications. The first two UNICs were established in 1946. At present, there are 63 Information Centres, Services (UNIS) and Offices (UNOs) worldwide.

What we do?

The United Nations Information Centres (UNICs), Services and Offices, located in 63 countries worldwide, link the United Nations with people around the world disseminating global UN mess ages to local audiences.

Media outreach

UNICs maintain contacts with national and regional media in the country/countries where they operate, disseminate background information and press materials to the media, place op-eds and feature articles, arrange interviews and organize press conferences and briefings.

Information Products

UNICs offer products and services such as newsletters, libraries, videos, web sites and internet facilities. The centres often work with civil society in promoting a variety of issues through seminars, exhibits and other activities.

Observances and Anniversaries

UNICs also participate in observances of international days, years and decades. Commemorations take many forms and may include presentations involving national or local dignitaries, workshops, seminars, educational programmes, sporting events, and musical performances.

UNIC Ankara

The UNIC Ankara Office, working with the UN Communications Group in Turkey, promotes awareness of the UN’s priority issues through media events, interviews, press conferences, and feature articles. Additionally, UNIC Ankara carries out information management duties on enquiries about the UN System.

For more information :


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United Nations Population Fund

Protecting and Promoting the Rights of Children

For more than 70 years, across 190 countries and territories, UNICEF has been working tirelessly to protect the rights of every child, everywhere.

UNICEF first opened its doors in Turkey in 1951. Since then, UNICEF has developed close partnerships with the government and civil society to improve the lives of millions of children. Guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Together with partners, we aim to reach the most vulnerable children with essential interventions in education, child protection, social protection and child survival.

We also monitor the situation of child rights and advocate for legislative and systems changes, providing policy recommendations and technical support to improve policies and partnerships for children. We collect, analyze and share quality data and evidence to better inform programmes, campaigns and initiatives wherever they are needed most.  

All children have the right to survive, thrive and reach their full potential. This means ensuring equal access to basic services, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity or religion. It means working to achieve gender fairness and equality in all aspects of life. It means giving voice to adolescentboys and girls, and empowering them to become agents of change within their own communities.

Turkey Country Programme (2016-2020)

The 2016-2020 UNICEF Turkey Country Programme builds upon ongoing efforts to strengthen and expand existing national systems – particularly in education, child protection and social protection – to address the needs of children and adolescents in Turkey, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable.  

Through partnerships with the government and civil society, efforts to support Syrian and other refugee children have been scaled up, with a strong focus on resilience-building in host communities. Quality data and evidence is also being collected and analyzed to inform future programming and strengthen advocacy on child rights in Turkey.  

Humanitarian Action in Turkey (2013-present)

With over 70 years of experience operating in crisis contexts, UNICEF has a critical mandate    when it comes to providing humanitarian assistance to children and families in need.  

Since 2013, UNICEF has supported the Government of Turkey to respond to the needs of nearly 3 million Syrians refugees – almost half of whom are children. In addition, since 2015 UNICEF has been working closely with the government and NGO partners to deliver immediate assistance to vulnerable refugee and migrant children and families on the move toward Europe. 

UNICEF works in the priority areas of Education, Child Protection, Social Protection, Youth Engagement and Basic Needs. Interventions are also carried out in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Health and Nutrition as required.


UNICEF works with a large number of ministries and governmental institutions including the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of the Family and Social Policies, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Development, the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Ministry of Youth and Sport, GAP Administration; as well as with Municipalities and civil society organizations such as the Turkish Red Crescent, Turkish National Committee for UNICEF and other national and international NGOs. 

Turkish National Committee for UNICEF

In addition to a country office, UNICEF also enjoys the support of an independent national committee which helps promote UNICEF’s mission, engages in concerted advocacy on critical child rights issues, and mobilizes crucial resources for Turkey and countries across the world.

More information at:

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 Unido-LogoUnited Nations Industrial Development Organization

Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial  Development

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was established in 1966 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985. UNIDO’s mandate is to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition, and work towards improving living conditions in the world’s poorest countries by drawing on its combined global resources and expertise.

The mission of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in developing countries and economies in transition.

The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development in the next fifteen years. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs.

Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in three thematic priorities, each of which represents different aspects of ISID:

  • Creating shared prosperity
  • Advancing economic competitiveness
  • Safeguarding the environment  

UNIDO in Turkey

The UNIDO Office in Turkey opened in 1967 and became the UNIDO Centre for Regional Cooperation in Turkey in 2000 after signing of a new agreement between UNIDO and the Government of Turkey. The UNIDO Centre for Regional Cooperation in Turkey is responsible for developing, coordinating and actively supporting the overall cooperation between UNIDO and the Government of Turkey, the academia, the private sector and the civil society of the country for promoting ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development’. The Centre is also responsible for the implementation of technical cooperation projects in UNIDO’s main thematic priority areas in Turkey.

UNIDO is the leading UN Agency in Turkey in implementing Montreal Protocol in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (MoEU) completed more than 20 projects on phase-out projects of the CFCs and MeBr funded by Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

UNIDO is implementing POPs Legacy Elimination and POPs Release Reduction Project. UNIDO also completed Review and Update the National Implementation Plan (NIP) of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Turkey Project with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.

UNIDO “Eco-efficiency (Cleaner Production) Project”, supported by MDG-F Spanish Fund which was started in June 2008 and executed together with Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV). The project objectives were to build capacity in the country on eco-efficiency (Cleaner Production), to implement 6 pilot projects to reduce water consumption in industrial sectors and to support establishing National Eco-efficiency Center in the country. Please see the project web sites at “” and “”.

Improving Energy Efficiency in Industry in Turkey project is being implemented with the financial support of the Global Environmental Fund (GEF), and under the umbrella of General Directorate of Renewable Energy (YEGM) of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The project partners are YEGM, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB), the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) and the Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV). The project aims to improve energy efficiency in Turkish Industry by encouraging industrial enterprises to create and implement effective energy management systems.

The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) is being executed with Ministry of Science Industry and Technology (MoSIT), TUBITAK in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR), Ministry of Development (MoD), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB), and Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV). The global program aims to promote an innovation ecosystem in Turkey on the areas of energy and environment.

UNIDO started implementing Vocational Training for Syrian Youth Refugees in Turkey Project in 2015 with Disaster and Emergency Management Agency of Turkey (AFAD). The project provided 1000 refugees with skills for (self) employment and improved the livelihoods and social security of refugees, in particular the youth and women. The second phase of the project is ongoing in 2016.

In addition, UNIDO organizes international training programs for experts coming from mostly Central Asia, Middle East and Africa every year. Training programs are organized on food processing with TUBITAK (MAM), on nanotechnology with Bilkent University (UNAM), on textile and leather laboratories with TUBITAK (BUTAL).

UNIDO started implementing a project on sustainable use of biomass with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.Enabling activities on Minamata Convention Project approved by well

Regarding private sector development activities in Turkey, a joint project on Harnessing Sustainable Linkages for SMEs in Turkey’s Textile Sector was completed at the end of 2013.

Turkey is selected as one of the countries for the second round of Post 2015 National Consultations and Post 2015 Development Agenda Turkey National Consultations Engaging with Private Sector was conducted by UNIDO Turkey Field Office.

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Bringing Complete Physical, Mental and Social Well-Being to Humanity

Agency mission

The World Health Organization (WHO) mission, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. The Constitution defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

WHO was established in 1948 by 61 governments to promote health of all people. Today there are 194 Member States.

The WHO’s Constitution came into force on 7 April 1948 – a date, now is celebrated every year as World Health Day.

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system and a specıalized agency. WHO fulfils its objectives in public health through its core functions:

  • providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed;
  • shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge;
  • setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  • articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options;
  • providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity; and
  • monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.

Health systems; non-communicable diseases; promoting health through life-course; communicable diseases; preparedness, surveillance and response, and corporate services are among the areas which WHO operates.

There are 7000 people working  in WHO Headquarters in Geneva, six Regional Offices and 150 WHO offices in countries In addition to medical doctors, public health specialists, scientists and epidemiologists, WHO staff include people trained to manage administrative, financial, and information management systems, as well as experts in the fields of health statistics, economics and emergency relief.

Governance takes place through the World Health Assembly, which is the supreme-decision making body for WHO; and the Executive Board, which gives effect to the decisions and policies of the health Assembly. The Organization is headed by the Director-General, who is appointed by the Health Assembly on the nomination of the Executive Board. WHO Regional Committee fulfils a similar role for each Regional Office and the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee acts for and represents the WHO European Regional Committee and ensures that effect is given to its decisions and polices.

WHO Regional Office for Europe works in a Region of 53 countries. The Regional Office is made up of scientific, technical and public health experts who work at its headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark; country offices in 29 Member States across the Region including the WHO Turkey Country Office as well as five technical centres. Health 2020 is a health policy framework that guides 53 countries in the WHO European region. It recognizes that good health benefits everyone, and that countries can reach the highest standards of health by working across government to pursue two strategic objectives: improving health for all and reducing health inequalities, and improving leadership and participatory governance for health. WHO/Europe programmes address many topics such as the social determinants of health, communicable diseases and NCDs, health systems, family and community health, and environment and health.

WHAT does WHO do in Turkey?

The WHO Country Office in Turkey is a part of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The Regional Office established its Representative Office in Ankara in 1959 to provide technical support to the Ministry of Health in Turkey as well as in coordinating health activities with other health partners.

The Country Office is the focal point for WHO activities in Turkey. The strategic priorities for technical cooperation are set out in the Biennial Collaborative Agreement (BCA) signed between the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Government and jointly identified in the light of regional and country priorities. The BCA is implemented in close collaboration with national institutions and international partner agencies.

The BCA for 2016-2017 includes five categories:

  • Communicable Diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, vaccine preventable diseases including polio, measles and rubella),
  • Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD risk factors, nutrition, mental health and substance abuse, violence and injuries)
  • Promoting Health throughout the Life-course (healthy ageing, migrants’ health, occupational health, social determinants of health),
  • Health Systems Governance (national health policies, strategies and plans, health finance, access to medicines and health technologies, health systems information and evidence)
  • Preparedness, Surveillance and Response (IHR, alert and response capacities, public health emergency risk and crisis management, antibiotics resistance).

WHO Field Presence in Gaziantep

As a response to the public health emergencies due to the conflict in Syria, WHO established a field presence in Gaziantep in October 2013; and scaled up its presence, capacity and activities.

In southern Turkey, WHO focuses on critical functions, built around the WHO Emergency Response Framework: health coordination, information management, provision of technical expertise and core services. The Field Presence activities include:

  • Capacity development for Syrian medical staff
  • Technical support for outbreak response and immunization campaigns
  • Provision of life-saving equipment and drugs
  • Development and dissemination of information materials for refugees.

National and international public health experts, epidemiologist and technical officers are among WHO Gaziantep Field Presence staff.

WHO Collaborating Centres located in Turkey

The WHO collaborating centres are institutions which are designated by the WHO Director-General or Regional Directors to carry out activities in support of the Organization’s programmes.

  • Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine Department of Public Health in Ankara is designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Workforce Development,
  • International Children’s Centre, Bilkent University in Ankara is designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre on Immunization Training and Advocacy.

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UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Works for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women

UN Women is the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. UN Women supports Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design the laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. UN Women stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life and focuses on the following priority areas that are fundamental to gender equality and unlocking progress across the board: increasing women’s leadership and political participation; ending violence against women and girls; engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes and humanitarian action; enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality.

The UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia was established in Istanbul in 2014 and oversees the work of UN Women in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244), Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. The UN Women office in Turkey, which is located in Ankara, has been implementing projects since 2012. In Turkey, UN Women enhanced its partnerships and collaboration with public institutions and organizations, civil society and other UN agencies. UN Women also chairs the UN Results Group on Gender in Turkey.


Building on the UNDP – UN Women Joint Programme on “Fostering an Enabling Environment for Gender Equality in Turkey” that was carried out from 2011 to 2014, UN Women started the project “Gender Equality in Political Leadership and Participation in Turkey” in December 2014. The project aims to support women’s political leadership and participation by focusing on the Parliament as a model institution that is uniquely placed to drive change and lead by example. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and implemented by UN Women in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Committee on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men, the project is expected to conclude in December 2018.


UN Women is working in the area of Gender-Responsive Budgeting (GRB) across the region as well as in Turkey with the aim to strengthen the capacity of local administrations and civil society organizations in analysing, preparing and monitoring local budgets with a gender perspective. From 2012 to 2015, UN Women implemented the GRB component of the UN Joint Programme on Promoting the Human Rights of Women in 11 pilot provinces in Turkey. UN Women is planning a follow-up gender-responsive planning and budgeting project.


UN Women works to increase women’s leadership and participation within businesses and the private sector through advocating Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). WEPs support signatory companies in reviewing existing policies and practices—or establishing new ones—in order to realize women’s empowerment. As part of mobilizing follow-up action, UN Women led the development of a WEPs Implementation Guide, together with the UN Global Compact Turkey Working Group on Women’s Empowerment. Turkey ranks second in number of WEPs signatories globally.


In Turkey, UN Women coordinates HeForShe, its global solidarity movement for gender equality, since 2015, with the support of its Impact Champions, such as Koc Holding, Vodafone Turkey and Unilever Turkey. UN Women created HeForShe to provide a systematic approach and a targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become agents of change for full equality between men and women for the benefit of the whole society. UN Women engages civil society, private sector and youth in the HeForShe Campaign to create a bold, visible force for gender equality.


The UN Women Turkey Office is part of a regional programme on ending violence against women in the Western Balkans and Turkey, “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds.” The programme, funded by the European Union, started in 2017. It will work to reform policies and legislation in line with international standards; strengthen women’s organizations to prevent discrimination and violence against women; and improve services for women and girls who have experienced discrimination or violence. It will focus on the most disadvantaged groups of women.


UN Women coordinates The United Nations Secretary-General’s global campaign “UNiTE to End Violence against Women” in Turkey.  The campaign aims to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world. UN Women coordinates the UN system’s advocacy during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, which takes place between 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 10 December, International Human Rights Day.


UN Women is working to strengthen refugee women and girls and their access to opportunities, rights and services, as required by international treaties and national legislation. UN Women has launched an assessment in six cities to determine the needs of refugee women and girls, their challenges in accessing services and the areas that need improvement. UN Women formed an advisory board for this assessment ensuring close collaboration with relevant Ministries, including the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, civil society and UN agencies. UN Women, as part of refugee response programming, will implement the “Gaziantep Women-only Centre: Providing Livelihood Support” project and establish a women-only center in Gaziantep to enhance the economic and social integration of women and girl refugees in their new communities. The center will be operationalized together with Gaziantep Municipality, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), with financial support from the Government of Japan. UN Women is planning to expand its programming for refugee women and girls across different areas of Turkey.

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WFP is World’s Largest Humanitarian Agency Fighting Hunger

WFP has been in Turkey since 2012, bringing vital food assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled the war in neighbouring Syria. Thanks to strong collaboration with local and Government partners, WFP is currently helping around 820,000[1] people access nutritious food. An exciting new partnership with the European Union, the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) and the Government will see that number rise to more than one million, with help covering all basic needs. The most vulnerable refugees will have the chance to pay their rent, eat a healthy diet, buy clothes and other necessities, and bring back a sense of normality to shattered lives.


In September 2016, WFP signed a €348 million contract with the EU to roll out the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN), the largest humanitarian relief project in EU history.  The first social safety net of its kind, this game-changing step sees WFP partnering with TRC, the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies. The goal is to reach more than one million refugees living in host communities , providing them with money to help them meet their basic needs. Each family receives a debit card, which is loaded with credit every month and can be used in local shops or at ATMs to help cover living costs. That means that families  have control of their daily lives. They can  use their entitlement to buy food,clothes,, or even to pay for rent and utilities.. Using EU money, and working  with our Turkish  partners, WFP aims to help  the most vulnerable families  get back on their feet. A special focus is placed on helping families headed by women, or where family members have disabilities or chronic illness. The programme bolsters social cohesion, as refugees spend their entitlement in local economies, giving a boost to host communities who’ve  welcomed refugees.


WFP has been operating in Turkey since July 2012, when the Government of Turkey requested support to assist Syrians living in camps. Following an initial feasibility study, an electronic food voucher programme, called e-food card, was launched in October 2012, in partnership with TRC and in close coordination with AFAD, to address the food security needs of camp populations.

The e-food card programme marked the first time that WFP used electronic vouchers at the onset of an emergency response. Electronic vouchers have since been implemented throughout the region. Families are given debit cards loaded with credit, to be used specifically to purchase food.

In February 2014, in a sign of our strengthening relationship with our Turkish partners, and to better meet the needs of camp populations, a cost-sharing pilot was launched whereby WFP provided food assistance to refugees in camps, and AFAD provided food and non-food support. This modality continues today, with each partner providing 50 Turkish Lira (TL). WFP  operates in 11 camps across South Eastern Turkey.  140,000 refugees in camps were supported with cash transfers by June 2017.


In July 2015, at the invitation of the Government, WFP and TRC began rolling out assistance to Syrian refugee families living off-camp, with each person receiving 62 TL per month. WFP/TRC field-teams went door-to-door in some of the poorest areas of Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Hatay, Kahramanmaras and Kilis, identifying the most vulnerable families and signing them up.

WFP phased out this  off-camp cash transfer programme in April 2017 with final payments of 100 Turkish Liras each made to more than 170,000 beneficiaries.


WFP has a history of procuring  commodities in Turkey to support the emergency operations in the region, including Syria and Iraq, as well as WFP operations worldwide.  Since 2012, WFP has injected more than USD 271 million into the Turkish economy through cash-based assistance. In support of its global operations, WFP has procured more than USD 1.55 billion worth of commodities  in Turkey since 2011. The dollar figures are estimates due to exchange rate variations. Almost 64 percent of these commodities have been used for emergency food assistance within Syria and the region, including WFP’s emergency response in Iraq.


Australia, European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), France, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Sweden, and USAID.

[1] June 2017

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UN Volunteers


Inspiration in Action

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers with diverse backgrounds and expertise, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.

Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Within the context od SDG, volunteerism is seen as a cross-cutting means of implementation, producing benefits such as capacity-building, empowerment and social integration.

Based in Bonn, Germany, UNV is active in 140 countries. It is represented worldwide through the offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and reports to the UNDP Executive Board 

Who are UN Volunteers? At the request of UN agencies, national governments and other partners, UNV mobilizes approximately 7,000 volunteers per year, to work in development assistance projects and in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. Qualified and experienced women and men of nearly 160 nationalities serve each year in 130 different countries as UN Volunteers. Nearly 70 per cent of the volunteers are citizens of developing countries, with an an average age of 37 years old and 5 to 10 years of relevant working experience. One third of UN Volunteers serve in their own countries, and the others carry out international assignments.

What the UN volunteers do?  UNV recruits a great diversity of talents and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities in the area of youth, social basic services, volunteer infrastructures, peace building and Disaster response and prevention. UN Volunteers comprise one third of all international civilians working in UN peacekeeping operations.

UNV also administers the platform Since 2000, more than 80,000 volunteers worked with 300 UN offices and 1,700 other organisations across the globe, on assignements such us: IT Development, Translation, Training, Research, Project Development, Writing and Editing.

 UNV Turkey 

In Turkey the first UNV field unit was established in 2011, and it is based in Ankara. The role of the UNV field unit in Turkey is to implement the key UNV objectives: integrate volunteerism and raise awareness of volunteer contribution to development, and advocate for recognition of volunteering in Turkey.

Achievements of UNV in Turkey:

  • A per May 2017, 81UN volunteers serve in Turkey, of which 61 are national UN Volunteers; they are hosted by UNHCR, WFP, OCHA, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNDP
  • UNV established the National Volunteering Committee, an informal network of 32 Volunteering Involving Organizations and institutions, advocating for developing an enabling environment for volunteerism
  • Published the book called “Volunteering in Turkey”
  • Launched “The State of World’s Volunteerism Report
  • Organized Youth and Volunteerism events in different universities
  • Implements the project “Strengthening social and economic integration of Syrian women in Southeast Anatolia region through community volunteer-based solutions”, joining and ongoing project of UNDP in th region

Story of a national UN Volunteer:

My name is Gizem Tülüoğlu, 26 years old. 6 months ago, I have started to work in UNDP Turkey as National UN Volunteer Project Assistant, with desire of contributing to development.

….I have worked on one of the most important project outputs: demo school campus building construction in Ankara, developed with IBDA. To see the construction phases of Etimesgut-Eryaman Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational School demo building with Nearly Zero energy consumption and construction plan, was a great experience in my career. Whole these processes provided me to meet new people while contributing to sustainable development goals and an interactive work environment.

It is obvious that being a UN volunteer provided contributions both to my personal and professional life: involved in group works, increased presentation and organization skills, involved in national and international interactive developmental works. I am happy to feel more confident and contribute to peace and development and I would like to involve in future UNV assignments. I believe that being a volunteer starts with the desire to be so!” 

Contact Info:

Yildiz Kule, 18th floor, Yukarı Dikmen Mahallesi, Alexsander Dubçek Cd. No:7, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara

Web :

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