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05ANKARA2898 2005-05-23 10:14:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Ankara
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1. Embassy Ankara requests 27,148 New Turkish Lira
(approximately $19,962) from the Ambassadors' Fund for
Refugees to furnish, secure and adapt an existing building
to provide a woman's women's shelter for refugee and asylum-
seeker women in Van, Turkey. The Women's Counseling Center
(WCC) and UNHCR in Van are cooperating to provide shelter
and services for victims and survivors of domestic violence
and sexual assault. The proposal would re-furbish and equip
the WCC-run shelter. It does not cover salaries and rents
which will be funded by contributions from While the
European Community and UNHCR. are funding aspects of the
program, including salaries and rents, this proposal would
re-furbish and equip the WCC-run shelter itself. Post
believes this project would fill a critical gap in refugee
assistance in Van.


Description and Justification


2. Women in Turkey can and do face targeted gender violence
with no effective protection. This problem can be magnified
in far-flung border regions, such as Van, where governmental
structures are less developed and societies tend to be more
conservative. Van is located in southeastern Turkey and has
an official population of roughly one-hundred and fifty
thousand (150,000) residents. Unofficial figures estimate
that the population may be double that amount due to the
high numbers of internally displaced persons, trafficked and
smuggled individuals, refugees and asylum-seekers. In Van,
there is currently no safe haven or shelter for female and
children victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
UNHCR Van operates a small, ill-equipped shelter for asylum-
seeker and refugee women and children, but it does not have
the mandate or capacity to offer services to both local and
refugee women. As such, the Women's Counseling Center (WCC)
and UNHCR Van have committed themselves to cooperating to
create a shelter shelter for for local and refugee women in

3. The proposal is to create a women's shelter in Van that
will be available for local, asylum-seeker and refugee
women. If the project is funded, the United States Embassy
Ambassador's Fund money will be used as seed money to
refurbish and furnish the site, which will provide an
invaluable resource to the women in the region. Supporting
the project, As cooperation, UNHCR has agreed to cover
rental and heating costs of the site for the shelter, until
alternative funds can be identified, in return for the
integration of asylum-seekers and refugees into the services
offered. This is also a means of integrating asylum-seekers
and refugees into the society and increasing the awareness
of the local community of the human side of refugees and

4. The WCC has identified a site for the shelter, the top
two (2) floors of the building in which the WCC is
housedthey are operating the WCC, for such a shelter. The
site has five (5) rooms, two (2) bathrooms, space for two
(2) kitchens and two (2) salons, and space for a play area
for children. The site can be furnished with twelvetwelve
(12) beds, ensuring space for at least twelve (twelve) local
and refugee women at any one time, and possibly more
persons, if women are accompanied by their children. The
proposal is to locate the shelter above the WCC to ensure
access to services and resources, including counseling,
referral, training and advice, for the women residing in the
shelter. There is also a measure of security provided by
being located above the WCC as the police and local security
are familiar with the WCC and available to respond promptly
should the need arise.

5. If the proposal is funded, the WCC and UNHCR will
approach the Municipality of Van to seek assistance from the
Municipality of Van with the shelter in accordance with the
Law of Municipalities that entered into force on 24 December

2004. The end goal of the shelter is to eventually to hand
the shelter over to the Municipality to run in accordance
with the Law of Municipalities.

6. The Women's Counseling Center (WCC) began in December
2004 with project funding from the European Community under
the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights for
the Van Women's Association. The aim of the WCC is to help
vulnerable women by providing basic legal, medical and
social information, counseling and referrals to appropriate
institutions or organizations for assistance and protection
of their basic human rights. The target beneficiaries are
victims of violence, internally displaced persons, asylum-
seeker, refugees and trafficked women, as well as
professionals and volunteers working with these groups. The
WCC is undertaking a number of project activities, including
legal and medical counseling, psychological advice and
psycho-social support, skills training, training on women's
rights and gender issues, and awareness raising in the
community. The WCC staff consists of: two (2)
psychologists; a Kurdish interpreter; a Farsi interpreter;
oneone (1) social worker; one (1)one Doctor; one (1)one
Lawyer; and three (3) general staff. As part of the
European Community project, the WCC is in partnership with
the Van Bar Association and the Human Rights Counseling
Center and all three (3) organizations have strong ties and
referral and information-sharing mechanisms with UNHCR Van.




7. Internal Eevaluation will be conducted throughat multiple
levels by the WCC itself, by UNHCR and by the Embassy in
collaboration with WCC and UNHCR.


Grant Officer


8. Post certifies that it has the authority and the capacity
to award grants to the intended recipient.




89. The U.S. contribution would not be used for start-up
costs only. There will be no ongoing commitment. Sstaff
salaries. Salaries will be provided through the European
Community program.

910. The requested U.S. contribution would be used as

Central Heating 1 8,350 8,350
Construction* 2,500 2,500
Security Alarm 1 2,000 2,000
Security Bars 10 250 2,500
Refrigerator 2 500 1,000
Stove 2 300 600
Sofa Set 2 500 1,000
Bed 12 100 1,200
Mattress 12 100 1,200
Blanket 20 30 600
Sheet Set 20 50 1,000
Miscellaneous 5,198
Furnishings and
(under $500 each item total)

TOTAL YTL 27,148
TOTAL USD 19,962

*Construction to include installing central heating,
installing alarm, installing security bars, and repairing
the interior of the premises,




11. To the extent possible, Embassy will arrange for
publicity of the grant to highlight the USG's support for
refugees in Turkey.