According to the Directorate General of Migration Management, there are currently over 3.6 million Syrians Under Temporary Protection living in Turkey who fled as a result of the ongoing conflict and a further 360,000 refugees and asylum seekers of differing nationalities. Since March 2012, IOM Turkey has been part of a coordinated effort of UN Agencies, NGOs and government partners providing humanitarian assistance, including basic health and social services to help migrants, refugees and the host community live a better and more stable life. Through strong partnerships with municipalities across 17 provinces, IOM’s initiatives are fostering greater social cohesion among migrants, refugees and host communities.
Refugee Response activity includes:
- Cash Based Interventions (CBI) – Using chargeable cards and pre-arranged vendors, the most vulnerable in the migrant population in Turkey are able to purchase basic items to support themselves and their families. Our CBI programme is designed to give migrants the choice to buy the items most relevant to their needs and formally involve local Turkish businesses in this process.
- Emergency Case Management (ECM) – Building on existing field operations, ECM programmes support both individuals and families with specific, complex or multiple assistance needs that are not addressed through existing services. Examples include funding medical supplies and treatment, transportation, accommodation, food, non-food items and other tailored needs.
- Mobile Psychosocial Support Teams (MPSS) – Our MPSS teams are based in strategic locations across the country where there are large migrant communities or particularly vulnerable people. Activities are tailored to the needs of each migrant and host community to provide PSS activities for adults and children, which include ideas that come directly from participants themselves. Examples include formal PSS private and group sessions, cooking activities with Syrian and Turkish community members, excursions to cultural sites and sports and art activities.
- School Transportation – Because the cost of travel to schools is often a barrier to education, transportation is key for thousands of Syrian children to attend schools in southeastern Turkey.
- Community Centre support – IOM Turkey supports community centres in Turkey that provide services, including informal and formal education, skills and language training for adults, legal counselling and psychosocial support for migrant and host community members.
- Municipal Migrant Information & Coordination Centres – Currently in Adana and Sanliurfa, our Municipal Migrant Information & Coordination Centres aim to connect migrants with the support and services around them through referral and counsel. The two centres currently work in psychosocial support, education, law, vocational guidance, social services and additionally hold social events to bring the community together.
- Community Stabilization (CS) – When large numbers of displaced people arrive into a community, public spaces and services need to adapt to support new arrivals and the existing community. The CS team works to expand the capacity of vital public services, such as schools and gyms, as well as public spaces like parks, to allow for greater possibilities of harmony in the community.
- Shelter – IOM’s shelter programme not only aims to improve accommodation facilities by insulating walls, replacing doors and windows and repainting, but it also works with local landlords to create binding contracts, which offer a secure rental period at fixed rates for migrants. Alongside shelter activities, migrants can also train and help construct their shelters as a cash-for-work activity, providing employment opportunities.
- Livelihoods – As integration moves to the forefront of our approach, so do sustainable livelihoods solutions. IOM’s Livelihoods team works to connect the skillset of migrants to gaps in the Turkish labour market. The team currently offers in-kind support to budding migrant business and training, grants and mentorship to young entrepreneurial teams made up of Syrian and Turkish students. The team also places skilled Syrian workers in local Turkish businesses and supports with the hiring process.
- Health – The Migration Health Division (MHD) works to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants and mobile populations by providing accessible health clinics offering preventative and curative health services in Istanbul and Ankara. Migrants in the surrounding communities can access health examinations and vaccinations with onsite interpreters available to support in Arabic, Kurdish, Persian, Ethiopian and Somali languages.