FAO Turkey organized job fairs in Izmir as part of two of its projects. The first project, entitled "Increase self-reliance and improve agricultural livelihoods of refugees through employment opportunities" is being conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF), the Provincial Directorate of MoAF and local producer unions and is funded by the European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The second project, entitled "Promoting self-reliant livelihoods of Syrians under Temporary Protection and host communities through provision of skills trainings and productive assets", is funded by the Government of Japan. A total of 148 beneficiaries who completed trainings on fruit harvesting, mussel production, entrepreneurship and gastronomy, 105 of whom were Syrian, participated and received certificates from the authorities during the job fair.
Sheikh Ahaduzzaman, a FAO Programme Officer, stated in his opening speech that "there are more than 146 000 Syrians living in Izmir, and we aim to increase employment in the agriculture sector through vocational training for Syrian refugees and host communities".
The purpose of these job fairs was to bring together private company representatives and project beneficiaries who are now are equipped with the necessary technical knowledge to become skilled workers. In this context, the beneficiaries could access long-term employment in Turkey. These events also created a platform to initiate dialogue between private sector representatives and FAO to increase access to job opportunities.
Mürvet Meskeci, a Syrian refugee and a beneficiary of the project, expressed gratitude for being there and appreciation to the project partners. Meskeci said "everything in my life has improved with the support of this project, I saw humanity here. It is as if my life has just started. What I say is not enough. I can buy bread for my children. I am very happy".