Social and financial assistance

As an asylum-seeker or refugee in Turkey, you may be eligible to receive various kinds of social and financial assistance from different organizations and government bodies. This includes food and household goods assistance, and cash assistance.


Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations (SASF)

Refugees and asylum-seekers may benefit from social assistance coordinated by the governorships in the provinces. Under the administration of the governorships, the Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations (SASF) (Sosyal Yardimlasma ve Dayanisma Vakfi in Turkish) receive your written petition with the request of one-time cash assistance, non-food items, coal aid, assistance for education, shelter, health, etc.

To apply for social assistance, you need to approach the SASF with the following identity documents:

  • Non-Syrian beneficiaries (Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Somalis and other nationalities) of international protection require International Protection Identity Documents (IPAID) with foreigner’s identification numbers starting with 99.
  • Syrian beneficiaries of temporary protection require Temporary Protection Identity Documents with foreigner’s identification numbers starting with 99.

You also need to submit your petition for assistance from the SASF. You may need to provide specific documents for some of the assistance provided by the SASF. This additional document might be your medical reports or expenses of medicines. In addition, your address needs to be registered in the database of the Civil Registry (Population) Department in your province. A house visit may also be conducted by SASF to assess your needs in line with the procedures.

There is no guarantee that the assistance will be provided; the decision will be given by the Board of Trustees in the SASF.

In order to find out which documents are required for the type of assistance that you want to apply for, please approach the closest SASF office or UNHCR partners’ offices in your province of residence.


Social Service Centres

Social Service Centres operate under the Provincial Directorates of Family and Social Policies. The centres provide social services to the most vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers. These services include psycho-social support, training and counselling, and identification and referral of the most vulnerable to relevant social service providers. In each province, there may be more than one Social Service Centre; you should therefore approach the one that is closest to where you live.

Social Service Centres also accept applications for two kinds of assistance programmes:

  1. Socio-economic support
  2. Disabled home care assistance

To be eligible to apply for these programmes:

  • Non-Syrian beneficiaries (Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Somalis and other nationalities) of international protection require International Protection Identity Documents (IPAID) with foreigner’s identification numbers starting with 99.
  • Syrian beneficiaries of temporary protection require Temporary Protection Identity Documents with foreigner’s identification numbers starting with 99.

1. Socio-economic support is provided for a determined period of time to families and/or single parents whose children are at risk. In addition to the requirement for documents mentioned above, a social assessment report will be completed by Social Service Centre personnel in order to assess the eligibility for this assistance. This report will be carried out through a house visit.

Applicants need to comply with very strict criteria in order to be eligible for this type of assistance and may be requested to submit additional documents to the Social Service Centre.

2. Disabled home care assistance is provided to families who have a disabled family member who is unable to fulfill his/her daily needs without the care and assistance of another family member. This is a regular financial assistance provided to the caregiver.

To receive this type of assistance, applicants will need to show:

  • A Disabled Health Board report obtained from a certified health institution, stating that the disabled family member is 50 per cent or more severe disability;
  • That the caregiver is not working;
  • That there is a lack of financial means.

Similar to socio-economic support, disabled home care assistance is provided based on a social assessment report based on a house visit. Applicants may also be requested to submit additional documents to the Social Service Centre.

In order to find out which documents are required for the type of assistance that you want to apply for, please approach the closest Social Service Centre or UNHCR partners’ offices in your province of residence.

Applications for both types of assistance need to be made individually to the Social Service Centres.  Please note that there is no guarantee that the assistance will be provided.


Municipalities

Municipalities may also provide assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers. The types of assistance provided by the municipalities differ as they depend on the resources of each municipality; assistance packages may include coal, food parcels, clothing and other kinds of non-food items. The eligibility criteria to receive assistance may also differ between municipalities.

Given these differences, you should approach the municipality in your city of residence to get information on the types of assistance provided and the eligibility criteria. You can also obtain related information from UNHCR partners in your province.


Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN)

What is the ESSN and what assistance do people receive through the programme?

ESSN (KIZILAYKART-SUY) is an unrestricted cash assistance programme. It is designed to help cover the basic needs of 1.3 million vulnerable individuals living outside of camps under temporary or international protection in Turkey. The programme is implemented by the Turkish Red Crescent (Turk Kizilayi), the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Policies, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC ) and is financed by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

A KIZILAYKART-SUY is provided to each family that is found eligible. Each month this card will be loaded with 120 TL per family member. The card can be used at any ATM machine to withdraw cash or in shops to buy items using a point of sale machine. There might be additional payments to beneficiary families from time to time, which will be announced through SMS.

For information, questions, feedback and comments we encourage you to visit the KIZILAYKART-SUY website, the KIZILAYKART-SUY Facebook page, your local SASF or TRC Service Centre, or call the TRC Call Centre on 168.


Financial assistance for primary and secondary education

The Ministry of Family and Social Policies (MoFSP), the Ministry of National Education (MoNE), Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are implementing a nationwide social assistance programme called the ‘Conditional Cash Transfer for Education’ (CCTE) for refugees. This is an extension of the CCTE programme implemented by MoFSP since 2003 for Turkish citizens as well as foreigners residing in Turkey. All refugees who are residing in off-camp settings, regardless of nationality, can benefit from this assistance (if they meet the eligibility criteria). The CCTE provides cash payments to eligible families conditional on regular school attendance of their children (from kindergarten to Grade 12).

The CCTE programme is open to refugees of all nationalities. Applicants for the CCTE must be registered with the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) and have a foreigner’s ID number beginning with the number 99 and be registered in the MERNIS database. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for the CCTE programme and send their children to school regularly in order to receive CCTE payments regularly.

More information on CCTE for refugees (including application procedures and eligibility criteria) is available in the CCTE brochure.