In line with precautionary measures undertaken by the Government of Turkey to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, UNHCR Turkey adjusted its programme and its cooperation with partners, to boost support to refugees. Based on telephone surveys and assessments of needs, UNHCR provided assistance to refugees and host communities across the country working with local and national partners, in particular with public institutions and municipalities. UNHCR’s additional support focused on emergency cash assistance, the provision and distribution of hygiene and other needed items, communicating with communities and supporting refugee initiatives. UNHCR also worked closely with its education and livelihoods partners to support mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students engaged in distance learning and, in general, on refugees who have been hit by the loss of income.
COVID-19 Emergency Cash Assistance
In close coordination with the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), UNHCR initiated an emergency cash assistance to address the most urgent needs of refugees rendered vulnerable by the impact of COVID-19. The assistance targets vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers who are not benefitting from other assistance programmes with one-time cash support of TYR 1,000 per household, transferred through the Turkish Postal Service (PTT). Implementation started in April 2020.