145 grant contracts were signed in Ankara yesterday (20 October 2016) with Turkish NGOs, municipalities, universities and other stakeholders, for projects aiming at improving social integration and employability of disadvantaged persons in Turkey.
The contract signature ceremony was attended by the Minister of Labour and Social Security Dr. Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, and Mr. Béla Szombati, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the European Union Delegation to Turkey.
Total budget of these 145 projects exceeds 23 million Euros, 85% of which financed by the European Union under the IPA (Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance) programme jointly run with Turkey. The projects will be implemented in 49 different provinces of Turkey, ranging from Edirne to Hakkari, and from Aydın to Bayburt. Projects will start on 1st of November 2016, and will last 12 months.
The target groups of these projects are vulnerable people at risk of poverty or social exclusion. They include Roma citizens, persons with disabilities, women subjected to violence, working children as well as ex-convicts.
Béla Szombati stated at the signature ceremony that "the EU approach to social inclusion and the fight with poverty is to find tailor-made solutions to the needs of different target groups, by taking integrated measures to address them. This is indeed a common feature of the selected projects, which I hope will help Turkey to build a more inclusive society".
50 among these projects will specifically address the challenges faced by Turkey’s large Roma community. They will aim at removing barriers in Roma’ access to health, education and employment related services, and fighting prejudice and discrimination, helping them to find quality jobs on equal footing with other citizens.
Mehmet Müezzinoğlu and Béla Szombati presented the awards to three photographers winners of the photo competition "Focus on the Human Being – Reflect Change", organised as part of the Human Resources Develoment Operational programme co-financed by the EU and Turkey.