Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, millions of Syrians are internally displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance. At the end of 2015, over 13.5 million people inside Syria require humanitarian assistance and 6.5 million are internally displaced (Humanitarian Needs Overview 2016). As the crisis expanded throughout most of the country, the number of people killed, injured, displaced or living in abject conditions continues to grow. Humanitarian actors are working to overcome serious challenges in security, weather conditions, deteriorated infrastructure and inaccessibility to try to reach those most in need.
The dynamic security situation and harsh weather conditions in Syria’s northern governorates increases pressure on already overcrowded settlements, shelters and host communities. IOM provides direct humanitarian assistance to Syria’s northern governorates though the IOM Turkey Cross Border team. All of IOM’s humanitarian assistance in Syria is implemented in partnership with Syrians NGOs that are operating on the ground. IOM Turkey facilitates the transfer of humanitarian relief items at two official border crossing points.
By the end of 2015, IOM Turkey’s Cross Border Team provided much need humanitarian supplies to over 300,000 internally displaced Syrians. Our programs focus on meeting both short-term, immediate needs (such as providing food and blankets) and medium-term objectives strengthening resiliency (like providing vocational training to Syrian youths).
Our activities include:
Delivering humanitarian aid through:
• Non-food items
Mattresses, jerry cans, carpets, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, solar lamps, baby diapers, and tarpaulin
• Shelter items
Items like tents and tarpaulins provide some cover for those who have no better options.
Winter is often hardest for those most in need. IOM Turkey provides items like blankets, winter clothing, coal and stoves to help keep people warm during cold months.
• Border crossings
IOM Turkey supported the rehabiliation of the facilities and structures at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing to lessen the impact of adverse weather conditions on the movement of urgent humanitarian supplies into Syria.
• School rehabilitation
Continued conflict in Syria damages important infrastructures, such as schools. IOM Turkey works to refurbish and rehabilitate schools inside of Syria, giving children the opportunity to begin school or to continue with lessons interrupted by conflict.
IOM Turkey strengthens the resilience of vulnerable, displaced Syrians by providing skills and vocational training in tailoring, motorcycle repairing, electrical appliance repairing and hairdressing. IOM Turkey also provides tool kits to restart or establish small income-generating activities for Syrians.
Small scale contributions
IOM Turkey also acts as a liaison to facilitate the transfer of commodities and equipment from various donors wanting to contribute to humanitarian response in Syrian.