Over 1.8 million Syrian war refugees were living in Turkey at the end of 2014.
The poor living conditions and limited access to medical care endured by many predominantly urban and unregistered refugees in Turkey remain concerning, and this year Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched several interventions to support Turkish Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in delivering assistance to those in need.
A number of Syrians have settled in the southern provinces of Kilis and Sanliurfa, along the Syrian–Turkish border. MSF is providing financial and technical support to a number of organisations, including the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (hCa) which is running a clinic in Kilis aimed at offering high-quality basic healthcare, such as mental health services, to this vulnerable population. The main goal of the mental health activities in Kilis is to help refugees cope and adjust to their new situation, regardless of whether they live inside or outside the camps.
MSF also offers financial and technical support to the humanitarian agency Support to Life and the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation in Sanliurfa, where there is a mental health intervention for refugees and activities are underway to improve water supply, hygiene and sanitation conditions – something that is much needed in the temporary refugee settlements in the governorate. The CSOs supported by MSF responded immediately to influxes of Syrian refugees by distributing shelter materials and non-food aid items such as soap, blankets and plastic sheeting.
If MSF’s request for legal registration is granted by the Turkish authorities, activities directly supporting the growing number of refugees may be increased.
No. staff in 2014: 8 | Expenditure: €0.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1999 | msf.org/turkey