UNDP awards “earthquake recovery grants” worth US$180,400 to 80 small businesses in Kilis

November 7, 2023
UNDP Türkiye Resident Representative Louisa Vinton and head of Kilis Chamber of Commerce sitting in front of a desk during the signature ceremony with Turkish flag on the background.

Sweden-funded program will support 4,500 small firms in all 11 affected provinces 

Kilis, 7 November 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Kilis Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KİTSO) today awarded grants worth TRY5,050,000 (US$180,400) to 80 small businesses that were damaged or destroyed during the February earthquakes. Similar grants worth US$10 million in total will be awarded in the first half of November to 4,500 small businesses in all 11 earthquake-affected provinces, under a UNDP program funded by Sweden. 

“Nine months after the devastating earthquakes, we see a region still struggling to restore the social and economic activity upon which its future prosperity depends,” said UNDP Türkiye Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “These grants cannot hope to meet the full scale of need, but our aim is light a spark among the smallest firms, which we hope will serve as a catalyst for a larger recovery.”

Building on a successful pilot initiative in Kahramanmaras province, which saw 257 women-headed businesses receive grants averaging around US$2,000 each in August 2023, UNDP issued a call for applications in all 11 earthquake-affected provinces. The program is open to businesses employing up to ten employees, and the selection process is designed to conclude by mid-November 2023.

In Kilis, more than 260 applicants responded to the initial call. Of these, 176 met the basic criteria, with 83 qualifying for interviews. Of these, 80 applicants were selected. Around 30 percent of the grant recipients are businesses headed by women. The grants range from TRY35,000 to TRY200,000.

Businesses receiving grants represent all economic sectors, including small manufacturing companies, retail shops, restaurants, pharmacies, dentists, beauty centers and hairdressers, as well as financial service advisors, real estate agents, law offices and service consultants.

"We are glad to implement this grant program in a very short period of time, yet we also see there is still a need to support the private sector in Kilis," said KİTSO President Hacı Mustafa Celkanlı.

The awards ceremony in Kilis was attended by a visiting delegation from the Swedish Embassy.

Across all 11 provinces, UNDP received 22,824 applications for the grant program. By the time the selection process ends, UNDP will have conducted a total of 15,000 interviews with grant applicants. 

UNDP is supporting grant recipients with additional coaching and mentoring. In addition, UNDP is providing vocational training in a wide variety of high-demand occupations across the earthquake-affected region. It is also using Swedish funding to expand care services to earthquake survivors and improve waste management in affected areas as part of a much larger disaster recovery program.  

For more information

Esra Özçeşmeci, Communications Associate for UNDP in Türkiye, esra.ozcesmeci@undp.org