11 Sept 2019 - UNDP Turkey - Increasing demand for additional public services is always challenging for any developing nation. At local level, the situation is indeed even pressing since urban settlements are usually at the forefront in hosting displaced individuals due to complex emergencies, natural disasters and humanitarian crisis. Sudden and significant increase in population might worsen the existing challenges with respect to basic public services delivery, with already strained capacity in infrastructure and superstructure. Firefighting capacities, emergency response, parks and gardens management, trash pick-up and storage, solid waste, wastewater treatment; imagine all the services that you might expect from your hometown’s local administration to be at stake. This might create serious public health, environmental and social cohesion related risks, business and economic losses, intra-community tensions.

UNDP is helping Turkish municipalities, local people and displaced Syrians for strengthening the capacity and quality of the municipal services in the regions affected by the ongoing Syria crisis. And it attracts nation-wide attention. 12 prominent journalists payed a visit to Hatay region, where ratio of the Syrian population accounts for around 25%. The beautiful province, which has been known as the “Cradle of civilisations”, famous with its rich culture of tolerance and hospitality, is now hosting the largest Syrian population after Istanbul, Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep. And the city, together with its people and institutions, is striving to cope with its limited resources and recover from the negative effects of the ongoing Syria crisis. And UNDP is part of the solution.

Are you curious about the deep and direct correlation between sustainable development, resilience, even crisis response, and municipal service delivery? Buckle-up your seats, we are taking you to Hatay, Turkey’s “Crisis response laboratory”, to see what we have achieved on the ground. To witness what difference development assistance and cooperation might create, when right approach, policies, strategy, planning and instruments are in place.    

“UNDP is in a different position within the UN bodies. It is the only organization working to strengthen the infrastructure of municipalities and has the human resources to execute the project all the way; such as engineers, purchasing specialists etc. It communicates with local institutions through its experienced teams, produces projects that will meet the needs and goes for fund-seeking.”

Wrote Ms. Gila Benmayor, one of the most important columnists and opinion makers, expert on sustainability, civil society and development areas in the major Turkish newspaper, Hürriyet. Her article series were published right after a large press delegation visited Hatay province to witness how UNDP’s European Union (EU) funded projects change lives of thousands of people in regions affected by the ongoing Syria crisis. 12 representatives from major national medias, including a television team, attended the two days long press trip. Mr. Sukhrob Khojimatov, UNDP Turkey Deputy Resident Representative, led the UNDP team in the field and hosted members of the press.


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City resilience