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IOM Turkey 2nd Round Rapid Needs Assessment on the Impact of COVID-19 on Migrant and Refugee Populations - March 2021

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The first Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) case was reported in China in December 2019 and spread rapidly across the globe. Global statistics show that there were 120,493,042 people infected by COVID-19, with 2,666,682 fatalities as of 15 March 2021. In Turkey, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH), there were 2,879,390 confirmed cases and 29,489 fatalities as of 15 March 2021.1 Turkey currently hosts more than four million refugees and asylum seekers, of which 3.5 million are Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTP). Notably, 98 per cent of SuTP live in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas alongside Turkish host communities and benefit from public services in both urban and rural areas.2 Since the outbreak of COVID-19 on 11 March 2020, the Government of Turkey (GoT) has put in place various measures3 to prevent the spread of the virus and has increased health service capacities while maintaining service provision via remote or mobile methodologies for other social services.4 Despite the efforts of the GoT, many refugees and migrants, especially those who are unregistered, still face issues in accessing basic social services due to language barriers, mobility, lack of documentation, and insufficient financial resources.
Several needs assessments and situation analyses conducted by Refugee Response actors in Turkey have shown a variety of challenges such as deteriorated economic conditions,5 widespread psychological distress,6 interrupted access to basic needs and services,7 and increased risks of domestic violence and conflict8 due to the conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IOM Turkey’s Psychosocial Mobile Teams (PMTs) in Gaziantep, Hatay, İzmir, and Şanlıurfa conducted a second Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) in November and December 2020. Building on the first RNA conducted in April and May 2020, the report provides updated information and new findings on the current needs of the affected community members related to protection and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) to better identify the risks and factors contributing to exacerbating their vulnerabilities during the ongoing pandemic. In particular, the second RNA aims to understand the perceived effects of the pandemic-imposed conditions on different life domains, and the existing coping methods. All the results will be incorporated into IOM Turkey’s COVID-19-specific programming and are expected to feed into future interventions.

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