Where We Work



International Medical Corps was active in Turkey through 2020. The content on this page reflects the status of our work and conditions in the country as our programs concluded. The page does not update.

With more than 3.6 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 on, 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.

Syrian Refugee Crisis

More than 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. International Medical Corps has seen it firsthand.

Syria Crisis

The Syrian war continues to inflict incomprehensible levels of suffering on civilians and fuel the largest displacement crisis in the world today.

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The Challenges

Population Displacement

With more than 3.6 million Syrians, Turkey hosts more refugees than any country in the world

Widespread Poverty

Most Syrians in Turkey live in host communities and face economic pressures to pay rent and living expenses while livelihoods opportunities are limited

Armed Conflict

The Syrian war continues, leaving Syrian refugees in Turkey uncertain of when, or if, they will return home

Our Response


International Medical Corps supports primary healthcare centers to increase refugees’ access to medical services. The facilities offer free primary healthcare, including pediatric clinics, as well as reproductive and maternal healthcare and mental health and psychosocial support. We are also resuming our physical rehabilitation services for Syrians living with physical disabilities, many of which are the result of war wounds.

In addition, International Medical Corps has established a Health Special-Needs Fund (HSNF) that makes funds available to cover the cost of advanced lifesaving healthcare services for Syrians and other refugees suffering from conditions not covered by temporary-protection healthcare.

Mental health and psychosocial support

International Medical Corps provides psychological support for refugees through our partner organization in Turkey. This includes individual counseling sessions with psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, who can provide higher-level care and referrals as needed, as well as emotional support through educational and recreational activities. These activities can include theater festivals, workshops in movie-making, games, life-skills training and other activities that bring people together—most often children and adolescents.


Refugees are exposed to immeasurable protection risks as they flee Syria and try to make their way in a foreign country they know little about, especially when finances are stretched and desperate families are pushed by circumstances to offer their children for child labor or early 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 Syrians through training and skills-building activities. We also work with children and adolescents in community centers and child-friendly spaces, and provide case management services for any protection cases.

Capacity Building

Working with local partners, including NGOs, municipalities and other stakeholders, International Medical Corps has designed a capacity-building strategy to ensure program quality and sustainability. Our goal is to improve our partners’ capacity, providing them the tools and systems to take on large-scale funding opportunities on their own elsewhere in Turkey. The capacity building covers both technical and programmatic training and supervision.

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, more than 5.6 million people (approximately equal to the populations of San Antonio, San Diego, Denver, Milwaukee, Cleveland 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?


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