GIZ: current focus on the challenges presented by the refugee crisis

EUR 587 million to support refugees

Berlin (5 July 2016) Giving people prospects is at the heart of the work of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. As a service provider for the German Government, GIZ is currently focusing in particular on providing effective support for people who have fled violent conflicts in their home countries. ‘The situation facing refugees is very worrying. But it is good to know that we can provide effective support,’ said Tanja Gönner, Chair of the GIZ Management Board, at the company’s annual press conference.

 In 2015, GIZ recorded its largest business volume to date (EUR 2.1 billion). Support for refugees and host communities was extremely important here – in the past year, GIZ received commissions in this area totalling EUR 179 million. This trend has continued in 2016, with GIZ already receiving EUR 408 million worth of commissions to provide accommodation, jobs and education and thereby improve people’s prospects over the next three years – and this figure is set to rise. Project activities focus on northern Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and southeastern Turkey.

Germany has boosted the funds available to help refugees and the European Union is planning further activities. ‘We know from our work on the ground that people want to stay in their home countries, or at least remain close by,’ explained Gönner. ‘But for this to be possible, they need prospects. And this is where we come in. We generate prospects through development.’

‘The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is GIZ’s largest commissioning party by far, with the volume of commissions amounting to EUR 1.7 billion,’ said BMZ State Secretary Dr Friedrich Kitschelt, Chairman of GIZ’s Supervisory Board. ‘Our work to promote sustainable development around the world is currently linked to the urgent challenge of supporting refugees and host communities in the short term and tackling the root causes of displacement in the medium to long term. This year, through both direct and indirect initiatives, we are making more than EUR 3 billion available for this purpose. When it comes to project implementation, we can rely on GIZ’s longstanding expertise and professionalism.’

Alongside climate programmes, displacement and migration is currently one of GIZ’s biggest areas of activity. In the countries neighbouring Syria, for example, GIZ is creating 30,000 jobs this year on behalf of BMZ through a targeted cash-for-work programme. These are simple jobs, such as digging sewage channels, planting trees and organising the disposal of waste in refugee camps. In this way, people can quickly earn an income, which also benefits their families. Overall, 150,000 people stand to gain from this scheme.

GIZ is also working with non-governmental organisations, for example UNICEF. The focus is on children and young people, who make up more than half of all refugees around the world. In northern Iraq, two million Iraqi citizens are refugees in their own country, including many Yazidis, who are a religious minority. In addition, there are 200,000 Syrians in the area. On behalf of BMZ, GIZ is building 10 schools for 70,000 children, who also receive psychosocial care in 14 newly constructed community centres. On GIZ’s behalf, UNICEF organises sporting and cultural events to give children something to do that takes them out of their day-to-day lives.

Outlook for 2016 and balance sheet for 2015
GIZ expects further growth this year. ‘We provide services for the entire German Government and for more than 300 other commissioning parties worldwide,’ said Gönner. At the same time, the company’s work is becoming more and more challenging. More than half the countries in which GIZ is active are fragile states which are beset by crises or threatened by armed conflict. ‘In spite of these difficult conditions, we are able to continue achieving results, and this is mainly because we have been working in these areas for many years,’ asserted Gönner.

The company’s record business volume in 2015 (EUR 2.1 billion) was EUR 110 million higher than the previous year. GIZ’s main commissioning party is BMZ, which provided EUR 1.7 billion in funding. This includes EUR 236 million in cofinancing from third parties such as the European Commission, foreign governments and foundations, which committed extra funds to expand project work. The volume of commissions from other German federal ministries grew by EUR 11 million to EUR 250 million in 2015 (in comparison to EUR 239 million in 2014). The total business volume of GIZ International Services, which supports the German Government’s international cooperation activities without drawing on German tax revenue, was around EUR 166 million last year.

At the end of 2015, GIZ employed a total workforce of 17,319 (compared to 16,410 on 31 December 2014). As in the previous year, around 70 per cent of the workforce – 11,949 individuals in all – were employed as national personnel in the countries of assignment. In addition, 730 development workers carried out activities for GIZ last year.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through our work we assist people and societies in shaping their own future and improving living conditions.