From borrowing money to independence: Refugee family becomes debt-free with cash assistance

Ömer Eddağavi and his family have been living on unstable income since arriving in Turkey six years ago after fleeing conflict in Syria.

Relying on seasonal work on farms, forced Eddağavi to borrow money from relatives and friends when there was no job to feed his family.

“It is so hard to be dependent on debts when you are responsible for a crowded family. Because you don’t know if you will be able to borrow money next time,” said Eddağavi.

However, since the day they started to receive the monthly cash assistance offered by the IFRC and the Turkish Red Crescent, with funding from the European Union, Eddağavi and his family broke the vicious cycle of debt to stay afloat.

“Thanks to god, we can live without being in debt and pay our bills,” said Eddağavi.

More about the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN)  

Funded by the European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), IFRC and Turkish Red Crescent are providing monthly cash assistance via debit cards to the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey under the ESSN programme. This is the largest humanitarian programme in the history of the EU and the largest programme ever implemented by the IFRC.

ESSN is providing cash to the most vulnerable refugee families living in Turkey. Every month, they receive 120 Turkish Lira (18 euros), enabling them to decide for themselves how to cover essential needs like rent, transport, bills, food, and medicine.

*This story was originally published on Turkish Red Crescent’s kizilaykart.org website and adapted by the IFRC.

This article covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.