WFP Turkey Country Brief, March 2017

from World Food Programme
Published on 31 Mar 2017


  • In March, Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) payments reached 408,000 vulnerable refugees across Turkey. In total, over 250,000 family applications (over 1.2 million people) have been received and are being assessed. The innovative multi-purpose cash ESSN assistance scheme is funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) and implemented by WFP, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and the Turkish Red Crescent.

  • In addition, WFP and TRC continued to assist 210,000 refugees as they transition to the ESSN through application and 143,000 Syrian refugees living in camps.

Operational Updates

The ESSN progressed across Turkey in full coordination and partnership with the Ministry of Family and Social Policies (MoFSP) and TRC. Since the start of the ESSN roll-out, WFP field staff have monitored 75 provinces out of 81, covering 315 districts and visiting 313 Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation (SASF) offices and 14 TRC Service Centres, some of them multiple times.
In March, ESSN payments were made to 407,544 vulnerable refugees. In total, 250,987 applications, representing 1,250,000 people, have been received.

In parallel, 216,640 vulnerable refugees identified through previous programmes received 100 Turkish Liras (USD 36)* to help them cover their basic needs and avoid interruptions in assistance as their ESSN application was being processed. In addition, 143,170 vulnerable Syrians living in 11 camps in the south-east of Turkey received 50 Turkish Liras (USD 18)* per person per month to be spent on food, complemented by assistance provided by the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
To facilitate application intake in areas with high refugee populations, TRC prepared to open four new service centres in Istanbul and Izmir, in addition to the 14 ones already operating in the south east. Additional staff was recruited and trained for the TRC call centre so that more calls can be processed swiftly.
ESSN partners continued working closely to address issues arising. A workshop is planned for early April in Ankara with participation from 13 SASFs as well as MoFSP, other government agencies and ECHO to discuss adjustments to the targeting and enrolment process, the transfer value and the registration of people living in informal accommodation.
An ECHO monitoring mission took place between 06 and 10 March in Ankara, Istanbul, the Black Sea region and Mardin/Sirnak in the south east to monitor the implementation of ESSN activities and discuss adjustments to be made to the programme with ESSN partners. The EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, accompanied by ECHO, WFP and TRC delegations, visited local authorities in Istanbul as well as ESSN beneficiary families on 27 March.
A Protection and Accountability to Affected Populations mission from WFP Headquarter and Regional Bureau was conducted from 21 to 24 March, for learning exchange on technical areas within WFP. The mission covered Focus Group Discussions (in Ankara and Gaziantep); a card distribution at bank branch; meetings with ESSN stakeholders and attended a workshop on Protection in Cash Based Interventions.
Collection of ESSN Pre-Assistance baseline (PAB) data continued through the TRC Call centre with telephone interviews to eligible and ineligible applicants for ESSN assistance. The PAB serves as a reference point to evaluate the ESSN outcomes for the mid-term and after project implementation. The quarterly Post-Distribution monitoring (PDM) covering ESSN beneficiaries is expected to start in May: it will provide an important update on key indicators from the critical three-month period which saw the ESSN scale-up nation-wide.