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) – Cash continues to gain prevalence as a modality for humanitarian agencies to help people meet multiple and diverse needs in the wake of a crisis. It provides people with the dignity of choice and is often significantly more cost‐efficient than the delivery of in‐kind aid. Providing refugees with cash enables them to fulfill their needs in a dignified manner and contributes to the local economy. IOM uses cash-based interventions to provide assistance and services to the most vulnerable refugees as well as host community. The Cash assistance help the peoples meet basic needs and winterization items.
  • 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. 

  • IOM’s Psychosocial Mobile Teams (PMTs) – PMTs work in strategic locations, focusing on remote and rural areas where large migrant and refugee communities with particularly vulnerable individuals and families reside. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) activities for adults and children are tailored to the needs of refugees, migrants and host community members and incorporate their ideas as well. MHPSS activities range from formal private and group sessions, cooking activities with migrant, refugee and host community members, excursions to cultural sites and sports, to Turkish language courses and reading and drawing lessons for children.

  • School Transportation – The cost of school transportation is often a barrier to education for migrant, refugee and host country children. IOM School Transportation Programme helps thousands of Syrian children to attend schools across different provinces in Turkey.
    From 2014 to 2019, the IOM Turkey School Transportation Programme provided daily transportation to 39,520 students from the migrant, refugee and host communities.

  • 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 – IOM’s Municipal Migrant and Community Centres in Adana, Şanlıurfa, Ankara, Mersin, Gaziantep and Kilis aim to connect migrants and refugees with support and services through referral and counselling. The six centres provide informal and formal education, legal counselling, psychosocial support, skills and language training for adults, vocational guidance and social services. They also host social activities 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. 

  • Basic Needs Assistance - IOM provides Basic needs assistance most especially in response to COVID -19  where IOM  provides  basic needs items such as hygiene packages, Food Packages and other required materials (NFI/hygiene items)  these are  provided to various municipalities and government institutions to be distributed to the most vulnerable refugees and host community members referred by the IOM`s filed teams as well as local authorities including municipalities.