***DISCLAIMER: The IFRC finished implementing the EU-funded ESSN Cash Programme on July 31, 2023. Thus, some information below might be outdated.


From Syria


From Austria


From Romania


From Syria


From Syria


From Turkey


From Turkey


From Syria

Right now, 1.8 million refugees in Turkey receive our support to pay for the things they need most, like food and rent. Small monthly payments give them greater control of their life — and #powertobe

Meet four of them

The ESSN Programme

  1. The ESSN card is a prepaid debit card available to refugees in Turkey, home to the largest refugee population in the world with close to four million people.
  2. An average household of six people receives 720 TL (current exchange rate) each month. In addition, every four months, the family receives “top up” amounts, based on family needs. Thanks to this assistance, 97 % of all families manage to maintain an adequately nutritious and diverse diet.
  3. The money can be used in shops and spent on rent, food and daily essentials.
  4. This helps people participate in community life and contribute to their local economies. Despite their hardship, it gives them freedom to manage their own lives.

Programme Partners

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, reaching 150 million people in 192 National Societies, including Turkish Red Crescent, through the work of 13.7 million volunteers. The IFRC acts before, during and after disasters to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. The IFRC has been leading large-scale cash programmes for decades in response to a broad spectrum of disasters around the globe, including its largest programme ever – the Emergency Social Safety Net in Turkey.

Turkish Red Crescent (TRC)

The Turkish Red Crescent (Türk Kızılay) is the largest humanitarian organization in Turkey, helping vulnerable people in and out of disasters for years, both in the country and abroad. Since 2012, the TRC has been providing first-line response to the refugee influx, supporting millions of people in camps and urban settings. Through the largest cash programme in the world, the TRC supports 1.8 million vulnerable refugees in Turkey to cover their basic needs.

European Union

Whenever there is a disaster or humanitarian emergency, the European Union (EU) provides assistance to affected countries and populations around the world. The EU has been funding humanitarian projects in Turkey to help vulnerable refugees and their host communities, in coordination with the Government of Turkey. Since 2016, the EU has been supporting its biggest humanitarian project ever, the Emergency Social Safety Net, ensuring 1.8 million refugees in Turkey can buy what they need most through cash assistance.

Government of Turkey

The Turkish Red Crescent, IFRC and EU work in coordination with the Government of Turkey and its Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services. The Government of Turkey is an important partner of the Emergency Social Safety Net programme, which is linked to the existing social system in Turkey. The country hosts the world’s largest number of refugees and the Turkish Government plays a leading role, in particular with regards to the response to the Syria crisis.

About the campaign

On eye level

The digital campaign, #powertobe, launched in five countries – Austria, France, Romania, Spain, and Turkey – and aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by people fleeing conflict, by showing them as the individuals with passions and talents.

See the campaign pages for Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Turkey.