Nestled at the intersection of Asia and Europe, Türkiye is an upper-middle-income country with the 18th largest economy in the world. Bordered by five countries, Türkiye hosts the largest refugee population in the world – with 3.77 million Syrian refugees and more than 322,000 from other countries. Although most refugees live alongside the host population of nearly 84 million, there are still around 47,000 living in camps located in the southeast regions.
A temporary EU protection measure grants Syrians access to services such as health care and education, and the possibility to request work permits from an employer. However, it remains challenging for most refugees to find registered employment, forcing many to move to areas where they can access informal work.
Working with the Government of Türkiye and humanitarian-development partners, the World Food Programme (WFP) helps refugees meet their basic needs. It also supports employment opportunities for both refugees and members of Turkish host communities. We provide refugees with cash transfers, which also boosts local businesses.
WFP’s work in Türkiye has shifted to a resilience-building focus, supporting those ready to transition from social assistance to longer-term employment and livelihoods projects. Through expanded partnerships with the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Labour, Chambers of Commerce, and NGOs, WFP’s large network builds a foundation that focuses on training to build skills and experience.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Türkiye
WFP, in collaboration with the Turkish Red Crescent, maintains its food assistance to Syrian refugees in seven temporary accommodation centres across southeastern Türkiye. We also support new arrivals into our programme, including Ukrainians fleeing the war. Assistance is provided via a monthly e-voucher payment of approximately US$15 per person. Eighty percent can be redeemed at selected shops in exchange for food, with the remainder available for other necessities such as hygiene products.
The Socioeconomic Empowerment and Sustainability Programme uses vocational and on-the-job training to equip refugees and members of the Turkish community with the skills they need to access long-term employment. The programme is active in 15 provinces and includes a variety of trades in the food and beverage sector, and in manufacturing sectors.