GAP and International Cooperation
As GAP makes its way ahead with its principle of sustainable human development, technical and financial contributions of foreign countries and organizations are also on the rise.
In this context the year 1997 was a starting date when the project package "Program for Sustainable Development in the GAP Region" was launched in cooperation with the UNDP.
The basic objective of this joint program with the UNDP is to reduce socio-economic disparities in the GAP region. The project underlines the human dimension of development through its pilot projects in such diverse fields as basic social services (education, health, housing); gender equality; urban management; environmental sustainability; institutional and social capacity building and people’s participation. The program consists of 28 sub-projects and its total budget is 5.2 million US $.
The World Bank issued grants for two projects related to the development of urban and rural infrastructure: "Sanliurfa-Harran Plains On-Farm and Village Development Project" and preliminary work for "GAP Urban Planning and Sanitation Project". A total grant of 650,000 US $ was secured from the World Bank for these two projects. Contacts starting in 1997 between the GAP-RDA and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) resulted in "GAP-FAO Rural Development Program", which is presently in progress as 10 sub-projects.
The GAP-RDA had its relations with the European Union (EU) starting in 1996. The EU granted 43.5 million EUROs for projects targeting the reduction of regional disparities, regional economic growth, improvement of environmental conditions and preservation of cultural heritage in the context of "GAP Regional Development Program". This grant was raised to 47 million EUROs with an additional 3.5 million upon the agreement dated 7 December 2001.
The GAP Administration is engaged in cooperation with many international organizations, universities and civil society organizations to share information and experience in the process of integrated regional development. These organizations and universities include Arizona State University (ASU), San Diego University (SDSU), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Kent State University (KSU); Portland State University (PSU); Oklahoma State University (OSU); Packard Humanities Institute (PHI); HASNA Inc; Syria based International Center of Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA); Sri-Lanka based International Water Management Institute (IWMI); Egypt Southern Valley Development Administration (TOSHKA); Bari (Italy) based Mediterranean Agricultural Research Organization (CHIEAM-IAMB) and Syrian General Organization for Land Development (GOLD). Protocols have been acted with these organizations for cooperation.
There is a protocol of cooperation with the International Cooperation Center of the Foreign Ministry of Israel (MASHAV). Focusing on rural development issues.
The GAP Administration is involved in joint training programs with participants from many other countries including Egypt, China, Bosnia, Macedonia and Bangladesh that have their projects similar to the GAP. The administration further organizes joint workshops, seminars and other training programs with its foreign partners such as Arizona State University, Kent State University, Portland State University, Canada International Development Research Center (IDRC) and US Army Corps of Engineers and International Program for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage (IPTRD).