Syria - Intensified fighting in Syria’s northern provinces is causing a growing number of Syrians to flee their homes. Since 25th January, over 78,000 Syrians have been displaced in the province of Aleppo. Nearly 65 percent of those displaced in the recent violence (over 50,000 people) have headed towards A’zaz – a town near the Turkish border.
“The situation inside Syria is dire. Many of those who fled left with little more than the clothes on their backs,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission. “Aid delivery inside of Syria was already challenging because of insecurity, poor infrastructure and difficult weather conditions. With the recent surge in violence, the challenges have increased and been compounded.”
IOM teams with operations on both sides of Turkey’s border with Syria have been working to quickly address the urgent humanitarian needs of the newly displaced.
Inside northern Syria, IOM Turkey’s cross border team worked with humanitarian partners on the ground to distribute critical non-food relief items (NFIs) to over 13,000 of the newly displaced. Items included mattresses, jerry cans, carpets, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, solar lamps, baby diapers and tarpaulins from an emergency stockpile at IOM’s warehouse in Turkey.
On the Turkish side of the border, IOM Turkey distributed hygiene kits containing items including soap, tooth brushes, wash basins, and diapers to over 1,300 Syrians now living in a camp near the border. Another 300 newly arrived displaced Syrians in Turkey’s Hatay province on the Syrian border received stoves and coal from IOM Turkey last week.
IOM continues to monitor the ongoing situation and has notified the Turkish authorities of IOM’s capacity to assist and what it has by way of pre-positioned supplies to respond to the current humanitarian crisis. It stands ready to assist thousands of fleeing Syrians on both sides of the border with additional humanitarian assistance, including tents, stoves, coal and blankets.
“One country, or even one region, is not capable of addressing all the humanitarian needs and solving the crisis on its own. It is imperative that the global community comes together to effectively and efficiently respond to the humanitarian crisis and to address the root causes of the mass movements of internally displaced people and refugees,” said Gvilava.
Since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, IOM Turkey’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery programmes have assisted 310,000 internally displaced people living in Syria’s northern provinces, with the assistance of implementing partners.
IOM Turkey has provided humanitarian assistance to an additional 164,000 Syrians living in Turkey. IOM programmes focus on meeting both short-term and immediate needs such as food and blankets, and medium-term objectives, including strengthening resiliency by providing vocational training to Syrian young people.
For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel. +90 (0)312 455 1202, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int