The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the difficulties of two parts of society that otherwise seem to not have much in common – refugees and companies. As a result, various organizations have come forward to provide financial support in the form of grants and tenders. In this article, we will explore the current grants and tenders in Germany that support refugees and companies in navigating the ongoing crisis.
In Germany, the federal government, as well as local and regional organizations, offer various grants and tenders for refugees to help them integrate into society and find employment. One notable example is the “Integration through Qualification” (IQ) program, which provides refugees with the necessary qualifications and skills to participate in the labor market. The program is administered by the Federal Ministry for Migrations and Refugees, with the help of the Ministry for Education and Research and the Federal Employment Agency but is implemented by each state. With the new year, a new funding round started, notably supported by the European Social Fund Plus.
In addition, there is also funding available to support the civil society, volunteers and their organisations. Furthermore, the Asylum, Migration, and Integration Fund of the European Union, that runs from 2021 to 2027, also strongly supports EU member states in implementing their asylum and migration policies. The fund is focused on solidarity between member states, irregular migration, legal migration, and integration in Europe. Also, the EhAP Plus Programme aims to help against the exclusion of the most disadvantaged people, as a tender via the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. The same ministry also put forward the Win-Win program, that aims at support access to education, training, and social services for young men with a migration background.
The Federal Employment Agency provides multiple measure to integrate refugees into the labor market, including language courses. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) provides funding for integration projects, sport measures and more. The Federal Ministry of the Interior supports projects that enhance social cohesion in cities and communities, and in combination with the ministry for family affairs also provides integration courses with accompanied childcare. Further, each state also has its own funding programs to support integration. There are over 20.000 foundations under civil law in Germany, with 70% of them primarily engaging regionally and locally and many of them supporting projects for integration and / or refugees. These foundations offer support on the 1:1 basis that the state is heavily relying on, and that is also supported by smaller regional programs.
Given the ongoing economic uncertainty, it is expected that the demand for grants and tenders will remain high in the coming year. However, it is also important to note that the availability of funds may be impacted by budget constraints and changes in government priorities. Despite these uncertainties, it is anticipated that the federal and state governments in Germany will continue to support refugees and companies through grants and tenders. However, one obstacle for those that are supposedly the beneficiaries of these grant programs is the excessive bureaucracy associated with it, in particular the paperwork and the necessary understanding of the German public financing system. In particular, for people who don’t speak German or who speak very little English these processes remain unnecessarily complex.
The current crisis has created many challenges for refugees and companies in Germany, but various grants and tenders are available to help them navigate these difficulties. From the “Integration through Qualification” program for refugees to the AMIF programmes for EU countries, there is a wide range of financial support available. Despite the ongoing economic uncertainty, and unnecessary bureaucratic burden, grants remain an important tool in the management of crisis that impact a specific group of the population.