Turkey: Engaging at local level and promoting social cohesion, August 2018
Supporting Refugees through Strengthened Local Engagement
Based on the legal framework provided through the Law on Foreigners and International Protection and the Temporary Protection Regulation refugees and beneficiaries of temporary protection are increasingly included in services which are provided through state systems at the national and local levels. UNHCR and its partners remain committed to providing support, including through engagement at the local levels, with priority being child protection, women empowerment, support to persons with specific needs, and fostering social cohesion in particular focusing on locations with higher numbers of refugees.
The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan 2018-9 (3RP) strategy on protection which frames the commonly shared direction of stakeholders is aimed at supporting national institutions to sustainably include refugees into existing state protection mechanisms and services. Some 94% per cent of refugees in Turkey live in urban, periurban and rural areas throughout the country’s 81 provinces, requiring continued efforts to reach out to refugees and refer them to the appropriate government services.
The support is aimed to strengthen the capacity of national and local institutions and service providers to meet this increased demand in services as well as to strengthen and adapt their capacities to meet the specific needs of refugees. By working to alleviate some of the pressure on local services resulting from the significant increase in demand, UNHCR also aims to promote social cohesion by reducing the perceived competition for services in specific locations.
UNHCR’s local engagement strategy focuses primarily on three inter-linked objectives, namely (1) strengthening referrals to national and public services, (2) supporting the capacities of local services, and (3) promoting social cohesion.