Supporting refugees


GIZ assists people who are in the process of fleeing and also those who wish to return their former homeland. Where large numbers of refugees are seeking shelter, we deliver medical and psychosocial care and help organise communal life. GIZ uses employment programmes to get the homeless and jobless back into steady earnings and to give them access to professional training. As part of its ‘no lost generation’ strategy, it also organises school lessons for children. Furthermore, GIZ helps returnees to settle back into their country of origin and ensures they can harness their contacts and apply their know-how.

Internally displaced persons and refugees in Northern Iraq

Since the brutal advance of the so-called 'Islamic State', a total of around 250,000 Syrian refugees and more than one million Iraqi IDPS have sought refuge in the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq – many of them in large-scale camps. And it is here that Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is engaged in an extensive cash-for-work programme that is being implemented on site by GIZ.


Supporting refugees © GIZ

Cash for work is the generic term for employment programmes that offer refugees and the local population an opportunity to earn some money. At the same time, these programmes render vital public services that promote the general welfare of everyone in the host region. In northern Iraq, for example, this includes infrastructure improvements both in the camps and host communities, such as the installation of sports fields and playgrounds or paved roads. Social activities also form part of the cash-for-work programme.

Earning money from health advice

In one of the projects that GIZ is co-implementing with the worldwide relief agency, Malteser International, inhabitants in four of these camps are being trained as health advisers. They’re tasked with disseminating vital knowledge about hygiene, first aid and prevention within their neighbourhood.