According to the Presidency of Migration Management, there are currently over 3.3 million Syrians Under Temporary Protection living in Türkiye who fled as a result of the conflict in Syria, and a further 360,000 refugees and asylum seekers of differing nationalities. Since March 2012, IOM Türkiye has been part of a coordinated effort of UN Agencies, NGOs and government partners providing humanitarian assistance, including addressing basic needs, protection needs and economic empowerment, to help migrants, refugees, and the host community live a better and more stable life. Through strong partnerships with municipalities across the country, IOM’s initiatives contribute to greater social cohesion among migrants, refugees, and host communities.

IOM’s Refugee Response activities include:

Cash-Based Interventions (CBI)

Cash continues to gain prevalence as a modality for humanitarian agencies to assist people in meeting diverse needs following a crisis. It offers individuals the dignity of choice and is often significantly more cost-efficient than delivering in-kind aid. Providing migrants, refugees and host community members with cash enables them to fulfill their needs in a dignified manner and contributes to the local economy. IOM utilizes electronic cash transfers, electronic vouchers and bank transfers to provide basic needs and economic empowerment assistance and services to businesses and the most vulnerable individuals.

Community Centre Support

IOM Türkiye supports community centres in Türkiye that provide services, including informal and formal education, skills and language training for adults, legal counselling, protection, and psychosocial support for migrant, refugee, and host community members.

Community Stabilization (CS)

IOM's strategy for community stabilization involves locally led, development-oriented actions in crisis contexts. This approach aims to counteract displacement drivers and negative consequences, working with governments, stakeholders, and individuals to establish local stability as a foundation for sustainable development. By combining multi-sectoral early recovery assistance with efforts to address destabilizing factors, restore community cohesion, and enhance local leadership engagement, the approach strives to restore communities. This involves activities like community planning, reconciliation, livelihood restoration, basic service access, empowering local authorities, and promoting social cohesion through sports, arts, culture and communication.

Economic Empowerment

IOM’s economic empowerment initiatives seek to enable those impacted by crisis and fragility to fully benefit from IOM's support and achieve self-reliance. IOM currently offers small business grants, vocational training, agribusiness support, support for women's cooperatives, and the Enterprise Development Fund (EDF), which leverages a novel grant mechanism for private-sector enterprises to create sustainable job opportunities.

Emergency Case Management (ECM)

Building on existing field operations, IOM’s ECM programme supports both individuals and families with specific, complex or multiple assistance needs that are not addressed through existing services. These include funding medical supplies and treatment, transportation, accommodation, food, non-food items, and other tailored needs.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)

IOM’s Psychosocial Mobile Teams (PMTs) work in strategic locations, focusing on remote and rural areas where large migrant and refugee communities reside who have difficulties in accessing services. MHPSS activities for women, men, girls, and boys are tailored to the needs of migrants, refugees and host community members and incorporate their ideas through strong community engagement and participatory methodologies. MHPSS activities include focused and non-focused individual and group sessions, and sociocultural and relational activities such as cooking activities, excursions to cultural sites, sports, Turkish language courses and reading and drawing lessons for children – all conducted in efforts to promote longer-term community cohesion.

Municipal Migrant and Community Centres (MMCCs)

IOM’s Municipal Migrant and Community Centres (MMCCs) in Adana, Gaziantep, Kecioren (Ankara), Kilis, Mersin, and Şanlıurfa aim to address the needs of migrants and refugees through information provision, counselling and referrals, and direct assistance. The six centres, implemented in coordination with the relevant municipalities, act as one-stop protection hubs operating on three pillars: (i) provide counselling, referrals, and direct assistance to meet migrant and refugees protection needs; (ii) build capacity of municipality counterparts to ensure inclusion of service provision for migrants and refugees in their migration management planning; and (iii) promote social cohesion through joint community-based courses and activities with the host communities.

School Transportation

The cost of school transportation is often a barrier to education for vulnerable migrant, refugee and Turkish children. To address this, IOM implements a school transportation support scheme to help children attend schools across different provinces in Türkiye. From 2014 to 2020, IOM has provided daily transportation to over 50,000 students.


IOM’s shelter programme aims to improve accommodation facilities by insulating walls, replacing doors and windows and repainting. IOM 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 train and help construct their shelters as a cash-for-work activity, providing employment opportunities.

Cross-Cutting Issues

IOM Türkiye aims to uphold the centrality of protection in all its areas of operations. Its Refugee Response Programme has made strides to include protection and gender mainstreaming, rights-based programming, and disability inclusion as core issues across all its programming. Continued efforts on capacity building and technical support in these areas ensure IOM’s responses are culturally sensitive, inclusive, and adaptive to the needs of individuals and communities within its areas of responsibility.