Prospects for refugees and migrants

Trainings, jobs, infrastructure: GIZ supports displaced persons and host regions in a variety of ways.

Prospects for refugees and migrants

People leave home for many different reasons. Some move to another country in search of work or training. Others are forced to leave in order to escape war, violence or persecution for their religious or political beliefs or sexual identity. Around the world, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is responding to the challenges associated with displacement and migration and offering people long-term prospects for the future.

On behalf of the German Government, the European Union and other international clients, GIZ is currently implementing more than 100 projects worldwide to support refugees and migrants. As well as short-term measures, they include long-term programmes whose purpose is to build infrastructure and create stability. GIZ provided support for more than six million refugees and displaced persons between 2015 and 2017.

Supporting refugees, strengthening host regions’ capacities

Short-term employment programmes enable displaced persons to earn an income for a specific period and gain access to training at the same time. For example, they build sports facilities and roads in camps and host communities and thus improve local infrastructure. Participants in these programmes are paid immediately after finishing work. More people means more waste, so organising waste management is key. In Zataari refugee camp and nearby communities in Jordan, Syrian refugees collect and sort waste and sell the valuable materials to local companies. 

Most people are displaced within their own country. This is one of the issues affecting Afghanistan, where more than 1.8 million people have been displaced. On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, GIZ has helped 40,000 people in Afghanistan by providing temporary accommodation or materials to build new homes. GIZ also offers literacy courses and technical training to give people long-term livelihood prospects.

As well as assisting displaced persons and refugees, GIZ provides support for host regions and communities, as local infrastructures rarely have the capacity to cope with so many new arrivals. For example, GIZ is supporting improvements in health care provision and the water supply, enabling host countries to establish the basis for peaceful social relations and improve living conditions. A further aim is to offer training opportunities, again with GIZ’s support. 

No one who has been trained here is unemployed

Mohamed Tavig, vocational trainer in Jiner

At different training centres in northern Iraq, for example, young people - including Syrian refugees, Yazidis and other Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) – attend various short training programmes to gain occupational skills for which there is local demand. Almost 10,000 welders, electricians and plumbers have been trained already. It is a successful concept: many of the graduates found a job after completing the course and are thus a step closer to a self-sufficient life.

Creating prospects at home, seeing migration as an opportunity

Secure basic incomes and prospects for the future have a key role to play in improving living conditions in the countries of origin and in addressing the causes of conflict at the same time. It is especially important to offer young people prospects for the future. In Tunisia, for example, a third of university graduates are jobless. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ therefore provides training courses in sectors such as clothing and textile production, tourism and drywall installation. Thus far, around 5,700 young people have undergone basic or advanced training and more than 3,100 have found work, giving them the prospect of a better future in their own country.

Many people leave their home countries in search of work and a better life. Due to a lack of advisory services in their own country, they may be unaware of local employment opportunities. On behalf of the BMZ, GIZ has therefore set up advice centres for jobs, migration and reintegration in the Western Balkans, North and West Africa, Pakistan and Iraq. Since 2017, more than 118,900 consultations on local training and job opportunities – but also on legal migration paths to Germany – have been conducted. The centres are not only a contact point for local people: they also assist migrants wishing to return home from Germany to make a new career start.

Last update: July 2019

Advisory services, project descriptions

Further information

Our featured projects