Stories
04 Mar 2022
By: IOM Turkey

Tawfik, a 29-year-old young man, used to work at the vegetable market in Homs, Syria. He had a small house where he lived happily with his family. When the conflict in Syria broke out, he and his family had to leave their hometown for Idleb in search of refuge.    

When Homs became a target, Tawfik did not rush to move out of the city, hoping that bombing would stop. Trying to find a safer place, he first moved to the countryside of Homs. But there the bombing caught up with the family again. 

“During one of the bombings, my leg was injured and later amputated,” recalls Tawfik. 

It was at that time that Tawfik made the decision to leave his hometown for Idleb, where he settled in one of the camps for internally displaced people. It took time for Tawfik to get used to using crutches and his acquired disability. 

“In the beginning, I couldn’t get used to it, but then it became normal. This is God's will. I started to get used to walking using crutches, and after a while, I put a plastic tip on my leg and started walking on it. I am used to it too, but it causes me severe pain while walking,” said Tawfik.  

His acquired disability made it challenging for Tawfik to find a job: “I hope to find a job suitable to my health situation. I hate to sit at home and do nothing. I hope one day I will return to my city to live in peace and safety”. 

Until he finds a job and earns a living, Tawfik must rely on the food assistance available in his camp. Tawfik takes care of his wife and his child, who has cerebral atrophy, in very difficult living conditions. In addition, the current camp’s infrastructure is not suitable for people with disabilities. 

Recently, Tawfik benefitted from multipurpose cash assistance provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM – UN Migration) in Turkey through its implementing partner in northwest Syria.  

“I was lucky to receive cash assistance. It was the right timing! I managed to buy food and pay off my debts,” said Tawfik.  

Tawfik was one of many people in northwest Syria who received multipurpose cash assistance to meet basic needs. With the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) IOM provided one-off cash grants to 4,442 internally displaced families (22,349 people) residing in camps in Idleb and Aleppo governorates in the last quarter of 2021. The grants were meant to cover the families’ most urgent needs, including food, shelter, and health. 

Together with its partners, IOM Turkey provides a wide range of humanitarian support to vulnerable populations in northwest Syria: from shelter, food and non-food assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene services to camp management and protection services, aiming to ensure that people like Tawfik and his family receive necessary aid and can meet their basic needs as they rebuild their lives.