IOM Turkey Marks Fifth Year of Supporting People Fleeing Conflict

IOM, the UN Migration agency, is marking its fifth year of providing assistance to migrants and refugees in Turkey and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Syria. Over two million people - migrants, refugees and IDPs - have received help so far.

IOM colleagues conduct a non-food items (NFI) distribution to Syrian refugee households in Hatay

After years of regional conflict, millions of people fleeing violence do not have access to necessities or services like food, shelter and education. Each month, hundreds of migrants and refugees continue to risk everything as they take desperate journeys to build a better life.

“Having a family, providing for your loved ones, educating your children, living in peace. These are the basic foundations on which we build our lives, but for millions of people affected by the Syrian conflict, this is an untenable reality,” said IOM Turkey Chief of Mission, Lado Gvilava.

In September alone, over 190,000 people were displaced inside Syria, bringing the total number of IDPs to just under six million. Another 3.3 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring Turkey which hosts the world’s largest refugee population. Since 2015, over a million migrants and refugees have arrived on Greece’s shores from Turkey and nearly 150,000 have been rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard.

IOM Turkey’s assistance programmes for migrants, refugees and IDPs initially focused on meeting the immediate needs of those fleeing the conflict. As the crisis continued, IOM scaled up its programming to focus on protection and resilience support to Syrians and host communities, as well as providing protection services and basic needs for migrants and refugees rescued at sea.

“IOM’s help has given us some time to breathe and my family to find work,” said Hiba, a Syrian refugee living in Turkey.

With over one million migrants and refugees assisted inside Turkey and another million people assisted in northern Syria, IOM Turkey continues to provide basic needs, education, food security, protection, livelihoods and health services.