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“It means hope for our children’s future”: Cash programme supporting basic needs for refugee families

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When the Syrian war started to risk their lives in 2014, Abdülhalik Şemmo fled Al-Hasakah with his family and arrived in Turkey's south-eastern province of Mardin, then moved to Ankara's Beypazarı district, hoping to have more job opportunities. However, due to the seasonal employment's being widespread in the district, Şemmo struggled to have a permanent income.

"In wintertime, there are almost no jobs here," said Abdülhalik, who is providing for his eight-member family.

Thanks to a monthly cash assistance programme Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) provided by the IFRC and the Turkish Red Crescent, his family is able to meet their survival needs when the job opportunities are scarce.

"ESSN means the continuity of life to us in winter. We can pay for our rent, our utility bills and other needs," said Abdülhalik. "It means hope for our children's future."

More about the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme

Funded by the European Union's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are providing monthly cash assistance via debit cards to the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey under the ESSN programme. This is the largest humanitarian programme in the history of the EU and the largest programme ever implemented by the IFRC.

ESSN is providing cash to the most vulnerable refugee families living in Turkey. Every month, they receive 120 Turkish Lira (18 euros), enabling them to decide for themselves how to cover essential needs like rent, transport, bills, food, and medicine.

**This story was originally published on Turkish Red Crescent's kizilaykart.org website and adapted by the IFRC.*