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Munich and Mardin announce a project partnership

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Munich and the Turkish provincial capital Mardin, which is located in South East Turkey, just 40 kilometres as the crow flies from the Syrian border, are the first municipalities to collaborate in the new initiative. On the occasion of a visit to Munich by representatives from the city of Mardin, a press conference with Federal Minister Dr Gerd Müller took place on Tuesday 25 October 2016 in Munich’s Town Hall. At the conference, entitled “Municipal Development Cooperation – Munich’s expertise is needed in the refugee crisis”, Müller introduced the initiative, and emphasised the importance of working with municipalities in order to strengthen host communities in the Middle East.

Kenan Kiraz, administrative manager of the City of Mardin, and Munich’s Deputy Mayor, Josef Schmid, spoke of the challenges and perspectives of the planned partnership, and possible project ideas. Specifically, both cities want to work together in the areas of training and qualification measures, or on a project which combines both sport and integration. As a first step, a needs analysis will be commissioned together with the University of Mardin, in order to further develop the project ideas, and draw up concrete project plans.

Josef Schmid presented several measures which the City of Munich will implement over the next few years, in order to contribute to the fight against People having to flee their homes. A specialist unit is to be constructed, and funded by  SKEW. As well as its commitments in the Middle East, Munich is involved in the Maghreb-German Municipal Knowledge Transfer project, which is implemented in Germany by SKEW, and funded by the BMZ.

The Service Agency Communities in One World will closely support the project implementation, and provide guidance and resources to both sides. After the official meeting, the representatives of both parties were advised on the next practical steps and support measures by Dr Stefan Wilhelmy, manager of SKEW, and Wencke Müller, project manager for municipal partnerships with the Middle East.

Detailed report by BMZ