Examples of GIZ's work: Support for six million refugees

12.02.2015 – Conflicts and natural disasters force people around the world to flee their homes. Since 2005 GIZ has supported more than six million refugees, in Afghanistan and around the world.

Wars, natural disasters and a lack of economic prospects force people to flee. Far from home they must build a new life from scratch. Since 2005 the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has supported more than six million people around the world who have found themselves in this extremely difficult situation. Our programme to integrate displaced persons in Afghanistan is one example.

According to the figures of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there are currently more than 700,000 internally displaced persons in Afghanistan due to conflicts. On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, GIZ is supporting the Afghan Government in integrating refugees into the host communities. ‘Primarily we aim to develop the capacity of the state by advising the government on its national strategy on internally displaced persons. This is the only way to ensure sustainable results,’ explains Frank Faiss, GIZ programme manager.

But GIZ is also active at local level. In the northern provinces of Balkh and Kunduz it is taking various steps to improve the living conditions of those affected. Newly built accommodation, for instance, is protecting refugees from the cold Afghan winter. GIZ is also developing their vocational and occupational skills. ‘The aim is to enable the displaced persons to earn a living,’ says Faiss. More than 6,000 people have so far attended basic and further training courses.

The training offered is always aligned to the specific needs of displaced persons and refugees, and geared to the local labour market. Alongside vocational training, GIZ offers literacy courses, arithmetic for everyday life, conflict resolution and hygiene training. These all aim to make everyday life easier for the target groups. The education and training programme is open not only to the displaced groups but also to the local population. ‘In this way we create a space where the two groups can come together, learn more about one another and engage in dialogue,’ Faiss says. ‘The host community also benefits from other GIZ services, including new school buildings and improved water infrastructure.’

GIZ is improving the living conditions of refugees and displaced persons in countries around the world with a range of other projects as well. Between 2005 and 2011, for instance, in cooperation with UNHCR and on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ supported refugees in Afghanistan and twelve African states.