German Family Assistance Programme for Syria

In 2015, more than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx. As the wave of people going through borders continue; conflicts in nearby Syria and violence in Afghanistan and Iraq remain as the biggest driver of migration in the region.

Among and between countries welcoming the displaced, Germany received the highest number. According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugee (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge) and figures extracted from the database of the European Statistical Office: 453,369 Syrian and 145,865 Iraqi asylum applications were received; and 268,704 Syrians and 47,434 Iraqis were granted refugee status.

IOM FAP Service Centre in Gaziantep, Turkey

The Family Assistance Programme (FAP) was introduced to (a) champion refugee protection and the right to family reunification, and (b) to address Germany’s family reunification backlog, easing systemic challenges and operations (such as processing and wait times).

The FAP intends to:

  • Dissuade Syrian and Iraqi families from seeking unsafe and irregular means to reach Germany;
  • Protect Syrian and Iraqi families from misinformation and exploitation by visa brokers/smugglers;
  • Empower Syrian and Iraqi families with Arabic and Kurdish language information and visa services;
  • Facilitate more efficient visa processing; and
  • Prepare Syrian and Iraqi families for arrival and integration into German society.

FAP focuses on delivering service and innovative solutions, alongside organizational outreach and partnerships. In this respect, a tailored FAP Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM), integrated with Cisco Unified Intelligence Communications Center (CUIC), was developed and implemented.

FAP CRM & CUIC offers cloud-based interconnectivity of all FAP offices through the IOM HQ infrastructure with centralized control, monitoring, and data protection; all aimed to improve organization work, workflow activities, and collaborative processes (regardless of location); to provide instant, historical and audit reports; and to enhance services for the overall migration

Additionally, it consolidates application data and documents (for individual applicants and one migration tree – family cases) into a single CRM database, providing IOM staff to information.

Other main functions include: (1) customer interaction (email, phone calls, social media, and other channels), recording and document management; and (2) automated workflow processes (tasks, appointments, calendars, alerts, and performance tracking).

For more information, please contact IOM FAP Project Manager Patrick CORCORAN pcorcoran@iom.int.