With nearly three million Syrians living within its borders, Turkey hosts the highest number of refugees in the world. Ninety percent of Syrians in Turkey live in host communities and therefore face economic pressures to cover rent and living expenses while job and livelihoods opportunities are often limited. As the Syrian civil war grinds into its seventh year, Syrians in Turkey are uncertain of if and when they will be able to go home, if ever, making it essential for refugee assistance programs to foster self-reliance and social cohesion between refugees and host communities.
Turkey hosts more refugees than any other country
of Syrians live in host communities
With three million Syrians, Turkey hosts more refugees than any country in the world
Most Syrians in Turkey live in host communities and face economic pressures to pay rent and living expenses while livelihoods opportunities are limited
The Syrian civil war shows no sign of ending, leaving Syrian refugees in Turkey uncertain of if and when they will return home
International Medical Corps supports primary health care centers to increase refugees’ access to medical services. The facilities offer free primary health care, including pediatric clinics, as well as reproductive and maternal health care, and mental health and psychosocial support. We also provide physical rehabilitation services for Syrians living with physical disabilities, many of which are the result of war wounds. International Medical Corps also facilitates Syrians’ access to medical care by funding translators in Turkish hospitals.
Mental health and psychosocial support
International Medical Corps provides psychological support through our multi-service centers and primary health care clinics. This includes individual counseling sessions with psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers—who can provide higher-level care and referrals if needed—as well as emotional support through educational and recreational activities. These can include theater festivals, workshops in movie-making, life skills trainings, and other exercises and games that bring people—most often children and adolescents—together.
Syrian refugees are exposed to an immeasurable protection risks as they flee Syria and possibly again in Turkey, especially as finances are stretched and push families to pursue negative coping mechanisms such as child labor and marriage. International Medical Corps is working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in Turkey by providing case management for existing cases, offering mental health support for survivors, and helping empower Syrians through training and skills-building activities. We also work with children and youth in community centers and child-friendly spaces and provide case management services for any protection cases.
Social counseling, legal referrals and vocational training
International Medical Corps, together with its local partners, offers a variety of social services to refugees and asylum seekers. In collaboration with local partners, we support multi-service centers across the country that offer health screenings and referrals, skills-building in areas such as knitting, sewing, and computers as well as language classes, CV-writing and interview skills courses, and legal advice. The goal is to help Syrian refugees better access important services of daily life in Turkey, such as health care and education, as well as secure work.
The Things We Carry: Stories of Syrian refugees and what they took with them when the fled home
Since 2011, when violent civil war erupted in Syria, over 4.8 million people (approximately equal to the populations of San Antonio, San Diego, Denver, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City combined) have fled their homes by land and sea in search of safety for themselves and their families. What do they carry as they flee?READ MORE