Supporting refugees


GIZ supports IDPs and refugees – including those who wish to return to their homes. In areas with large numbers of refugees, it offers medical and psychosocial care, and supports measures that facilitate the coexistence of the various groups. Through employment programmes GIZ helps people who have lost homes and jobs to earn a living and obtain vocational training. To prevent the emergence of a lost generation it enables children to attend school. GIZ supports returnees in reintegrating into their home country, and ensures that they are able to put their contacts and their knowledge to good use there.

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.