This policy brief researched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) calls on Turkish policy makers, the international aid community, donor governments and the private sector to establish a new “Türkiye Compact” that will harness trade preferences to stimulate job creation for refugees and host communities while supporting Türkiye in hosting the largest refugee population in the world.
UNDP’s feasibility study shows that special trade agreements between Türkiye and potential donor governments offer a win-win solution that, by increasing exports of Turkish products in labour-intensive sectors, can contribute to the self-reliance of refugees and host communities while supporting development and inclusive economic growth in Türkiye along with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Such an approach, in the selected scenario and identified sectors, could generate over 284,000 jobs (including for 57,000 refugee men and women, or 20% of the total) while boosting Turkish exports by 3% and GDP by 0.42%.
Many actors, including the UN agencies and civil society organizations working through the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syria Crisis (3RP) and outside of the 3RP, are committed to supporting the livelihoods of refugees and host community members, but high unemployment and the prevalence of informal labour have left many vulnerable and created frictions. The need to generate new jobs in the formal economy is urgent.
The Türkiye Compact is an innovative and complementary effort to provide one answer to this need, working through partnerships with privatesector employers and major trading countries to leverage trade preferences to expand formal job opportunities for refugees and host communities in line with national economic priorities.
UNDP is committed to translating the idea of the Türkiye Compact into practice. Working with Government, private-sector and international community partners, UNDP can provide organizational, coordination, networking and advocacy support. The initiative draws on the experience of other countries; once tested in Türkiye, it holds the promise to offer replicable practices for prolonged displacement elsewhere in the world.
Source: UN Development Programme