Stimulating Economic Growth and Employment of Refugees and Host Communities in Türkiye through International Preferential Trade.
United Nations Development Program calls on Turkish Policy makers, the international organizations and civil society actors, donor governments and the private sector to establish a Türkiye Compact as a new, innovative, and complementary win-win approach that will harness trade preferences to stimulate job creation for refugees and host community while supporting Türkiye in hosting the largest refugee population in the word.
Indeed, for more than a decade, Türkiye has been hosting a huge refugee population including as of 2022, 3.7 million Syrians and 320 000 from other nationalities. The policy framework of the Turkish Government has been rightly praised as an inclusive model granting access to basic services and to the labor market, matching with the 2018 Global Compact on Refugees.
Yet despite this inclusive model, the situation of refugees and host communities remains challenging. Most refugees after years of forced displacement still rely on social assistance to survive while 90 % of refugee households report not being able to cover their monthly expenses. Furthermore, sustainable employment remains elusive with an estimated one million refugees working informally leaving them very vulnerable to exploitation and creating frictions with host community members also facing difficult socio-economic conditions.
As a matter of fact, livelihoods programming delivered by the public sector, international organizations and civil society actors is improving lives but is not generating new jobs at the needed scale. The need to generate new jobs in the formal economy is urgent while supporting development and inclusive economic growth in Türkiye along with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
In that regard, the Feasibility Study shows that through a public/private partnership, trade preferences could generate 284 000 new jobs (including for 57 000 refugee men and women) while boosting Turkish Export by 3% and GDP by 0.42%.
To reach the Turkey Compact’s objectives, some national policies should be re-examined to use the full potential of the available work force along with the set up of relevant mechanisms. To know more about this innovative approach, please read through the Policy Brief.
- October 2022
- UNDP document