Sparkassenstiftung Turkey

Sparkassenstiftung decided to enter Turkey in order to assist the country in improving access to finance for the population. In line with its experience and core expertise, Sparkassenstiftung focuses on financial literacy and business skills as important factors for economic development.

In 2016-17 Sparkassenstiftung, on behalf of GIZ, carried out a project on providing financial literacy and basic business skills to refugees and host communities in Turkey. In cooperation with the Ministry of National Education, 53 TVET trainers and more than 3,000 students were trained, using Sparkassenstiftung’s flagship tools “Savings Game” and "Micro Business Game". The Project was a big success, but – as our extensive research showed, just a “drop in the ocean”. More people are currently living as refugees than at any time since the Second World War. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the total number of forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) exceeded 70.8 million in 2018. With over 4 million refugees on its territory (or about 5% of the total population), the Republic of Turkey is hosting the highest concentration of FDPs by far, in particular owing to the civil war in Syria. Almost 90 percent of them live in local communities, often in urban and peri-urban areas on the outskirts of bigger cities. The refugees’ main priorities include access to health care, education, employment. Their presence creates challenges for the local population and the political and economic development of the country.

Given this situation and based on its previous experience, Sparkassenstiftung decided to design a project named “Financial Inclusion for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey”.